Two persons were confirmed died over 80 houses, including 100 shops as well as about 30 vehicles, were destroyed yesterday in a pipeline explosion that rocked Ijegun, a densely populated community in Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos, when a vandalized pipeline exploded. The explosion, which occurred around 3 am, also left many people injured and several families rendered homeless.
Eight severely burnt people were taken to the Gbagada General Hospital and four others, to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, according to the Chief Executive Officer, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Dr. Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu.
The inferno, according to residents, was caused by an explosion from a vandalized Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation pipeline at fire junction along Ijegun-Isheri Right of Way.
The pipeline supplies petroleum products from Atlas Cove to Ejigbo and Mosimi depots in Lagos and Ogun states respectively.
Residents alleged that the vandals connected a hose to the hole from where they siphoned the product into awaiting trucks until 3 am when the fire started. Residents around Pipeline Road were jolted from their sleep by the explosion, scampered in different directions, as the ravaging fire spread rough open drains where the petrol had flown into.
“Two men who were driving out of the street to Awolumate street were engulfed by fire. To escape death, they jumped into a nearby canal where they eventually got burnt to death,” Titilope Awofesan, one of the residents, said.
When Daily Trust correspondents visited the scene, the charred remains of two male adults were seen wrapped in black nylon by officials LASEMA and wheeled into an ambulance which took them to the morgue.
Over 20 vehicles parked in a mechanic workshop behind Ijegun High school were completely destroyed; while others parked by the road side were also affected.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Bala Elkana, said the State Commissioner of Police, Zubairu Muazu had visited the scene and ordered a full investigation into the immediate cause of the incident. He also ordered his men to go after those behind it.