The death toll from the gas explosion at a gas station in Lafia, Nasarawa State on Monday has risen to nine including a baby, that died while being removed from a pregnant mother, who also suffered severe burns.
The gas station in Lafia was gutted out by fire when the tanker offloading the liquified gas suddenly went ablaze.
It was gathered that the host linking to the tanker was unable to come loose, and the CEO called the company to complain of the problem. The company quickly sent a staff to rectify the problem immediately. The staff rectified the problem by servicing the nozzle and the host to enable the offload. While trying to fix it back the nozzle refused to fixed properly. The man, over powered by the situation quickly ran for safety across the highway linking Jos and Markudi road trying to stop vehicles coming from both sides of the road.
“While the traffic was held, a Salon car was on a high speed although people tried to stop him but the driver was adamant trying to beat the traffic, the screech of his car ignited the fire”
Governor Umaru Al-Makura, who confirmed the figures on Tuesday when he visited the scene of the incident to assess, condoled with the families of those who lost their lives, and assured that government would do its best to ensure that the survivors of the fire outbreak get the best of medical attention.
“Last night, I got a report that six people died as a result of the burns sustained from the incident, but this morning, I was told that three more people had been confirmed dead,” he said.
“We were able to transfer 17 victims, who had over 60 per cent burns out of the 37 persons affected to the National Trauma Centre in Abuja, but three among them later died. Shortly before I arrived here, another child died while being removed from a pregnant mother, who also suffered severe burns. So, at the moment, we have recorded nine deaths as against the large figures being speculated in the media,” Al-Makura said.
He said the remaining 14 casualties currently at the National Trauma Centre were responding to treatment.
“I have directed that all the victims be given the best treatment available and for those in critical condition, requiring to be moved abroad, the Nasarawa State Government will take care of their bills just to ensure they live,” he assured.
The governor called on residents of the state to obtain proper approval before siting their structures anywhere in the state in order to avert a repeat of such ugly occurrence.
“I have called for a meeting with the committee on development control for us to review approvals for siting all businesses that pose danger to the people, especially gas stations. We have agreed that existing stations must comply with the safe distance specifications,” he said.
He also said that he had directed the state fire service to cordon-off the area for the next seven days to ensure that it is totally safe for habitation.
“We discovered that gas was still leaking from the tanks and we are making contact with the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and other agencies with the necessary equipment to assist in evacuating gas from the area,” Al-Makura added.