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11 Sep 2018

Scores feared dead in Nasarawa gas explosion

A gas explosion on Monday at the Monaco Gas Station in Lafia, Nasarawa State, caused fire that reportedly killed scores of people and injured others.

PUNCH Metro gathered that a gas tanker which had been leaking for about three days caused the fire.

It was said that the leak had been reported to men of the state fire service, who went to ascertain the situation.

PUNCH correspondent gathered that barely an hour after they left, there was an explosion.

An eyewitness, Mr Adamu Saibu, said he was in his office when he heard an explosion and the cries of people calling for help.

He said, “On getting to the scene, I saved two people and handed them over to officers of the Federal Road Safety Corps who took them to a hospital. Some people were burnt beyond recognition.”

Another witness, Jacob Amos, said, “We were inside an office when we heard an explosion and we rushed out to see what it was about. We saw that there was a fire incident and some people were running as fire burnt them.

“They said a gas tanker that was parked on the premises of the station caused the fire. We were able to save some people; but a lot of people died.”

The state Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Ismaila Usman, said the command had received a report on the incident, adding that the casualty figure had yet to be ascertained.

He said.  “Investigation is still ongoing to ascertain the level of casualties.”

The Nasarawa State Fire Service declined comment, saying it was still investigating the cause of the fire.

Meanwhile, the Nasarawa State House of Assembly says it will soon come up with a law that will stop the selling of gas in urban centres in the state.

The Speaker of the House, Mr Ibrahim Balarabe-Abdullahi, made this known when he led other members on an on-the- spot assessment to the scene of the gas explosion.

He said,  “It is important as a government for us to see what actually happened.

“It is sad and indeed very unfortunate that this incident happened at this period; we have a responsibility to protect lives and property.

“When this information came to us, we felt that such an incident should not have occurred if care had been taken.

“The station should be on the outskirts of the city. We are going to come up with a law to stop this type of business in the heart of the city.

“As true representatives of the people, we are going to enact a law that will stop gas business in the heart of any town. We cannot fold our arms and allow this type of thing to continue,” he added.

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