29 May 2010

Nigeria: Kaduna Gas Explosion - 300 Hospitalised

Kaduna — No fewer than 300 persons including children, pregnant women and nursing mothers resident in Kaduna metropolis were yesterday rushed to hospitals in the city following a gas explosion which rocked the city.

The cause of the explosion was said to be a gas cylinder belonging to one Sokoejon Enterprises Ltd, located behind SuperTex Ltd, along DIC Road, Kakuri. There was pandemonium in the city.

LEADERSHIP SUNDAY, which visited the scene of the explosion, can report that the gas cylinder exploded when a welder working with the company attempted to cut the cylinder into two.

The district head of Kakuri said: "I was told that the cylinder exploded when a welder was trying to divide it. Then, residents of the area started fainting, and my attention was drawn to it. So I rushed to the place. We stopped buses to help in evacuating the victims to hospitals. The hospitals have stopped admitting victims because the population is more than their capacity. These hospitals include St. Gerard, Maneks,Gwamna Awan and Sanda Poly.

The district head urged the people of the area to relocate from there, disclosing that he had provided a temporary accommodation to relocate the victims pending when the substance was evacuated. The situation is yet to be under control. It is more than our capacity. Even as I am talking to you, a pregnant woman just fainted. The people of the area should please relocate to stop the casualties."

To address the situation, he said they invited the state fire service but that the leader of the team fainted when they were trying to put out the substance. "We gave him milk in order to revive him, but it did not save the situation; so we rushed him to the hospital and that was how the team left."

He said they had invited the safety team of the Kaduna refinery to come with their tranquilizer and carry the substance.

"We are yet to get assistance from any organisation. We sent our people to various agencies for assistance but none of them has come to our rescue. We have bought numerous cartons of milk because those victims that were discharged need to take it in addition to the drugs that they were given at the hospitals. Our strength has been overstretched," he said.

At one of the hospitals, Manek report that Victims were still receiving medical attention.

Dr. John Namso who attended to the victims told LEADERSHIP SUNDAY that the people were suffering from respiratory distress. When our reporter visited the Dr. Gwamna Awan General Hospitals, the situation was still deplorable as more victims were still trooping to the hospital.

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