Residents along the Lagos – Badagry expressway in Nigeria on Sunday, witnessed a loud explosion followed by sparks of thick flames, that claimed lives and caused extensive damage to buildings.
Debris and thick smoke were seen over a large area as perturbed residents gathered in groups assessing the damage. Local media reported 15 deaths citing the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, said in a statement that the incident “was as a result of gas explosion which occured after a truck hit some gas cylinders stacked at a gas processing plant.
An NNPC official added that “preliminary findings indicated that the impact of the explosion was so huge that it led to the collapse of nearby houses and damage to NNPC pipelines on which efforts are being made to curtail the resultant fire.”
Nigerians took to social media to grieve in part and also bemoan what they said are dysfunctional systems that expose ordinary people to such hazards. The NNPC boss and his team visited the site of the incident while President Muhammadu Buhari also sent condolences via social media.
I received with sadness the news of the explosion in Lagos, which caused loss of lives and property. While the NNPC makes efforts to determine the cause of the incident, I send my deepest sympathies to the victims, their families, and the Government and people of Lagos State.— Muhammadu Buhari (@MBuhari) March 15, 2020