No fewer than 20 persons were killed and scores injured yesterday following an explosion at a gas facility in Lafia, Nasarawa State.According to an eyewitness account, a leaking cylinder reportedly set the stage for fire while a tanker was offloading product at Monacho gas station at about 8:30a.m. in the capital city.He said when the operators could no longer contain the leakage, the fire service and other emergency agents were promptly mobilised.
His words: “The fire started when a motorcycle and a tricycle collided in the course of fleeing from a possible ignition by the gas that has already filled the air and could be visibly seen.”
Another eyewitness told The Guardian that the fire service had almost brought the situation under control when it ran out of water, adding that three minutes after it went for refill that the collision happened.
The gas facility was burnt alongside the Natson Petrol Station on Jos Road within the metropolis.Though workers of the gas plant were all said to have escaped unhurt, some other 10 vehicles, three tricycles and four motorcycles as well as their passengers were however, burnt, beyond recognition. Scores of others sustained injuries of various degrees.
In the meantime, Senate President Bukola Saraki, who was in town to address supporters ahead of the presidential primary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has commiserated with the victims.
Consequently, he paid a visit to the injured at the Dalhatu Arafat specialist hospital in Lafia shortly after meeting with stalwarts at the party secretariat where he registered his sympathy.
“I sincerely regret the unfortunate fire accident at a gas station and pray that God will spare the remaining victims,” he said. Saraki urged the medical workers to intensify efforts in reducing the casualty figure.He had enjoined Nigerians to elect a leader capable of tackling the nation’s myriad of problems at the forthcoming polls.