By Olawale Abdul-Fatah
No fewer than 15 persons have been confirmed dead and several others sustained severe injuries when pipelines exploded in Amuwo Odofin Local Government, Lagos State.
National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), while confirming the number of victims, said at least 60 injured students of Bethlehem Girls College had been taken to the Nigerian Navy Hospital in Ojo Cantonment for treatment.
Acting Coordinator of NEMA in Lagos, Ibrahim Farinloye, who disclosed this to journalists, said the victims, a couple and their two sons, were caught by the explosion on their way to church at about 9:00 a.m. on Sunday.
According to him, over 50 buildings, including Bethlehem Girls College and a popular hotel, were damaged in the explosion.
He said: “The resulting fire later spread to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) oil pipeline passing through the area even though the pipeline has been shut down as a precautionary measure.
“The fire was eventually extinguished at 3:30 p.m. through the combined efforts of officials of the Lagos State Fire Service, Federal Fire Service, and Nigerian Navy Fire Tender.”
Also, a Staff Officer of the Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Oladele Daji, told journalists that the students were stabilised at the Navy Hospital, adding that those who have fully recovered would be discharged soon.
Daji said although the cause of the incident was still unknown, some residents of the area told security operatives that there were several industrial gas cylinders close to where the explosion occurred.