Following a gas explosion that rocked Sabo Tasha community in Kaduna State over the weekend, the state government and Depart of Petroleum Resources (DPR) have warned illegal operators from endangering lives and property in cause of doing business, the caution of which was coming after the state was put in mourning mood as a result of the gas explosion in the state.
Both the state government and agency claimed that the explosion would not have occurred had the operators put in place necessary preventive measures such that could arrest unforeseen circumstances.
The Kaduna State Deputy Governor, Dr Hadiza Balarabe, stated that the gas explosion could have been prevented had residents of the community reported those operating illegal plants to authority and that the state government may have to take such step as responsibility.
Speaking to journalists during her visit to Sabo, Barau Dikko and St Gerald hospitals where victims were undergoing treatments, Dr Balarabe expressed her dissatisfaction over loss of lives and damage of property that the state lost to the gas explosion and assured that the state government take necessary action to stop people operating illegal gas plants in in the state’s communities.
She said that gas plants’ operators and others in charge of sale of inflammable goods must move to areas that have been designated by government for such business.
Having commiserated with families of victims, the deputy governor urged residents to cooperate with the state government by reporting gas outlets in their communities to appropriate office for necessary actions, saying it was illegal to locate businesses of inflammables in populated areas.
“This unfortunate incident is an eye opener for people to know the fact that selling flammable materials within a place where we have congregation of people is actually not the best.”
“This is one thing we are really going to enforce to ensure that people do the right thing while also taking responsibility for their actions,” she said.
“It is a sad weekend for this to happen early in the New Year. It is unfortunate and this is bringing to the fore the need for us as a people to come together to expose people that come to our area and site these kind of shops that are not supposed to be situated there. It is sad and unfortunate that we do not take safety into consideration.
“Most of the time, it takes pains for us to realise that some of the things we do are really not supposed to be done that way, I think this is one of such unfortunate situations.”
On DPR’s part, its preliminary investigation claimed that the Kaduna gas explosion was as a result of illegal decanting of LPG from cylinder to another by operators of a facility.
Through a statement issued over the weekend by the agency’s Public Affairs Head, Mr Paul Osu, the regulatory body said that further investigation was ongoing and that the department would continue to monitor and sensitise members of the public on safe handling of petroleum products to prevent occurrence of incidences like this.
It said: “We wish to inform the public that we are carrying out further investigations on the incident, and we will update as soon as we conclude,
“We appeal to members of the public to continue to assist in reporting the activities of illegal operators to the nearest DPR office.
“In line with our regulatory oversight on the oil and gas industry, the agency immediately mobilised our staff to the scene to investigate the cause of the explosion”, it added.