Couple, three others burnt in Lagos gas explosion hospitalised

A man identified simply as Baba Tumise, his yet-to-be-identified wife, a teenager identified simply as Rofiat, and one Martins, an apprentice, have been hospitalised following an explosion at a gas retail shop in the Agege area of Lagos State.

PUNCH Metro gathered that the explosion which occurred around 11:00pm stemmed from a leakage from one of the gas cylinders at the retail shop located on the premises of a storey building beside the Apostolic Church, Agege.

It was learnt that a resident, identified simply as Madam Abowaba, while running to keep safe after the explosion, fell into a gutter and sustained a knee injury.

Speaking with our correspondent who visited the scene of the explosion on Monday, Abowaba said prior to the explosion, the sound of the gas leakage woke her and Rofiat up, adding that they were trying to locate the source of the sound when the explosion occurred.

The septuagenarian said, “Rofiat came to celebrate the festival with me, she slept very close to the window and when she complained about the sound, I told her it was the fridge. But she said it was not the fridge. When we opened the front door to trace the source of the sound, Baba Tunmise and Iya Tunmise also came out of their flat and we started tracing the sound.

“We later realised that the sound was coming from the gas shop on the premises of our house. So, we started looking for the apprentice, Martins, who had the key to the shop. When he came, we stood at a distance and watched as he opened the door of the shop, but when he switched on the light of his phone, the explosion happened.

“The explosion injured Martins, Baba Tunmise and Iya Tunmise, and Rofiat. It was when I started running because of the fear of what happened that I fell into the gutter and injured my knees.

A resident, who spoke anonymously to our correspondent for fear of victimisation, said the landlord had issued a quit notice to the person selling the gas, adding that the explosion would have been severe if all the gas cylinders in the shop were filled with gas.

The source said, “The shop owner has really tried for the injured victims. He rented a very small room for his apprentice who used to stay at the shop. The incident would have been worse if he still had all his gas cylinders filled with gas.

“He only had a few cylinders left. The landlord had told him to pack out of the shop, but he begged for an extension. All we need is for the government to support the injured victims.”

Reacting to the development, the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Dr Femi Oke-Osanyintolu, said emergency responders contained the fire from affecting adjoining shops and nearby buildings.

Oke-Osanyintolu said, “There was no loss of life. However, four adults including three females and an adult male sustained various degrees of injury as a result of the incident and were attended to by the agency’s pre-hospital care, alongside the LASAMBUS officials.

“The victims have also been moved to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital. The inferno was put out by the combined efforts of the LASEMA LRT, and officials of the Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service. The shop has been cordoned off to avert a secondary incident. The operation has been concluded.”