Lagos — A six-year-old girl, simply identified as Ajoke, was among four others who were killed in a gas explosion that occurred at Aduke Street, Ojo road, Ajegunle, Lagos State.
Many other persons also suffered severe burns in the incident, which occurred in a shop owned by a gas dealer.
It was gathered that three buildings located near the workshop and many gas cylinders were destroyed by the explosion, which occurred at about 3.30pm. An official of the Lagos State Fire Service, who chose to be anonymous, said the efforts of the Fire men in quickly putting out the fire that arose from the explosion reduced the extent of the damage.
A senior police officer at the scene confirmed that four persons, including the owner of the gas refilling shop, were among the four persons rescued from the scene.
"Most of the injured persons were rushed to the Ajegunle General Hospital where they were admitted at the intensive care unit of the hospital," he said.
A witness, Shola Kabiru, who owns a shop in front of the house where the fire started, narrated that the gas seller, one Uchechukwu, had gone inside to fill up a gas cylinder and that while doing that, his mobile phone rang.
According to her, the cylinder exploded as the gas dealer received the call.
"It's a testimony that I'm alive as I escaped the scene by the whiskers. But the gas seller was one of the first victims. I doubt if he will survive because his entire body was completely burnt," she said.
Another witness, Tope Ojo, said that the explosion destroyed three houses, with the fourth half-burnt.
"I heard a loud bang and the cylinders shattered and the next thing I saw was fire. The Fire Service men responded promptly, so the situation was contained. That is the main reason the fire did not spread to more houses closely located to the scene," Ojo said.
When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Bala Elkana, said he was not aware of the incident.
"I don't have that brief," he told our correspondent on phone.
The Director-General of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Dr Olufemi Oke-Osanyitolu, however, confirmed the incident, saying that two children, a male and a female, lost their lives, while 23 people were injured in the gas explosion.