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Gas Tank Explodes Into Fireballs In Akure, Injures Several People

An explosion from a gas tank Saturday evening destroyed goods and properties worth billions of naira at a market along Arakale road in Akure, the Ondo state capital.
The incident led to serious fire that destroyed several shops including residential homes. Some residents in the area also sustained injuries.[slideshow]36656[/slideshow]
Sahareporters  gathered that the exploded gas tank was placed between residential building and some shops, in an area where recycled goods are sold.
The fire incident started around 6PM and last till 10PM Nigerian time.
 No fatalities was recorded.  Residents told Saharareporters that the clustered nature of shops in the area made the inferno spread easily.
A Toyota Sienna vehicle parked at the front of one of the shops  near the gas tank also caught fire as its occupant ran for safety.
Our correspondent reports that the Arakale shops mostly belonged to   traders from Nigeria's southeast. The traders deal mostly in building materials and electronic appliances as well as secondhand goods.
Sympathizers who had earlier rushed to the office of the State Fire service   at Alagbaka road to complain on the need for the presence of fire officials at the scene of the incidence, however,  they met  a disappointing team of firemen who said they lack the equipment to fight such fire.
One of the sympathizers stated, “We need to be very sincere with ourselves that we don’t have government in this country. It is disappointing that the whole 18 local government in the state has no single working fire service vehicle.
“This is very bad. When we got to the Fire service station along Alagbaka road we met three officials on duty and they showed us their dilapidated vehicles  before and before  we knew what was going on they ran away   fearful that they might be attacked," 
An official of the Fire Service contacted by our correspondent said they can’t make it down to stop the fire because none of their vehicles in good shape since most are undergoing repairs. He said the only available one that is often in use had no fuel and that most firemen in the state are on strike due to unpaid salaries.
As a result of this, most residents had to embark on self help to stop the fire.   
Later,  members of the Red Cross Society [RCS] arrived the scene at exactly 8:45 pm to administer first aid to some victims before they were rushed to the General hospital.
 Around 9PM, a fire engine from the local airport  in Akure took over control of the situation and attempted to stop the fire that had consumed all the shops and destroyed goods worth millions of naira.
An eyewitness, Muyiwa Balogun told Saharareporters that the gas tank exploded and burst into heavy flames some minutes after it was refilled and immediately the fire  spread into the shops and residential buildings within the area. He added that there was a leakage at the bottom of the tank that led to the fire and subsequent explosion.
“Some guys with a trailer came this evening to refill the tank and after filling it they left but few minutes but after they left, apparent gas leak that fouled the air around Arakale street, the leak later caught fire.
Residents  accuse Ondo State  government officials of collecting bribes from the tank owner to overlook safety concerns.
At the General Hospital where most injured victims were admitted, a doctor  who spoke to journalists at exactly 11 pm said the situation is under control claiming some victims  with severe burns have been sent to the Trauma Centre in Ondo for adequate treatment while others were being treated at the Accident and Emergency ward.