Nine people have been killed while 10 others were also severely injured, after a gas cylinder explosion in the Sabon Gari area of Kano State in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The unfortunate incident happened on Tuesday morning at a welder’s shop close to a nursery and primary school.
A statement issued by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) confirming the incident, said: “The death toll in the gas explosion which occurred at Aba Road in Sabon Gari of Fagge Local Government Area, Kano, has increased to nine.
“Nine dead bodies were recovered from a collapsed building affected by the explosion and have been deposited at the mortuary at Armed Forces Specialist Hospital, Kano.”
It continued: “Ten persons were injured and were taken to various hospitals out of which two have been discharged.”
The statement added that the Director-General of NEMA, Mr. Mustapha Habib, “led the rescue team and excavators were mobilised to ensure removal of trapped victims.
“NEMA rescue team was at the site of the incident to investigate and ascertain the impact of the explosion.”
NEMA also stated that the rescue operations, which commenced by 10 a.m and officially closed at about 5:15 p.m, were well-coordinated, and urged the general public, particularly those living in the affected area, to remain calm and warned against spreading fake news.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo visited the explosion scene on Tuesday to commiserate with the families of the victims.
“We are here to first find out for ourselves what has happened and then also, commiserate with residents here and the families who lost some members and had children who were injured,” he said.
“I’m told that this was a blast and nine in all died as a result of the incident.
“This is a very, very sad and very unfortunate development, and just to say how deeply regrettable this is,’’ he stated.
Also, present during the visit were Abdullahi Ganduje, Governor of Kano; Nasiru Gawuna, Deputy Governor of the state, as well as security operatives and officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
Reacting to the explosion yesterday, former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar commiserated with the victims.
In a statement signed by the Director of Media and Publicity, Atiku Care Foundation (ACF), Okpani Jacob Onjewu Dickson, the Director-General of ACF, Ambassador Aliyu Bin Abbas, said Atiku, who is a presidential aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PD), was deeply saddened over the explosion.
“Alhaji Atiku Abubakar was saddened by the development and has tasked relevant agencies to investigate the remote and immediate causes to forestall future occurrence.
“He commiserates with the government and people of Kano State, families that were affected and wished the injured speedy recovery.
“He has also tasked me to direct the Kano State Chapter of Atiku Care Foundation to furnish his office details of those affected, to see those that might need assistance,” Ambassador Abbas said.