By Salomon Asowata
The Lagos state government said it has opened an investigation to determine the cause of Thursday’s gas explosion incident outside the Ogun State Property Investment Company (OPIC) plaza in Ikeja.
Mr Lanre Majola, director general of the Lagos State Security Commission, made the disclosure on Friday during an interview with reporters after inspecting the damage caused by the blast.
The Nigerian News Agency (NAN)
reports that three people were killed while 13 others were injured to varying degrees after a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tanker exploded in front of the square.
No less than 24 cars were also destroyed, while part of the building was severely damaged by the incident at around 10:32 p.m. on Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way, Ikeja.
Majola said: “Our investigation is ongoing. Ultimately, we will release our report, and if we find out that someone is responsible, we will sue that person.
“We believe that the bad practices cannot continue in this country.
“Just to reiterate, we will complete our investigation, make it public and if we find out that there is any form of neglect by any means, we will certainly ensure that the law takes its course.”
He said the government recently held a meeting with stakeholders in which the need for very strict standards, especially for gas management, was highlighted.
Majola said the incident could have been avoided if the prior safety standards had been met by the truck carrying the LPG.
“We were told that the truck had overturned its contents. Ideally, each truck should have two safety valves.
“In the event that there is an external force, it will keep the content protected.
“Even if there is a bit of a leak, it won’t cause as much damage,” he said.
In addition, Mr. Abiodun Arole, Director General of OPIC, while describing the incident as a very great tragedy, expressed his compassion for the victims on behalf of the Ogun State Government.
Arole said: “I am currently speechless because I did not expect the damage level to be this great.
“My main concern here is not so much what we have lost in property, but the lives that have been lost.”
He also revealed that the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency will conduct an assessment and integrity test on the property before any further decisions can be made by CIPO.