No fewer than 15 persons were, yesterday, feared dead with 40 others hospitalised with various degrees of injuries following a gas explosion at Monaco Gas Station situated in the premises of Natson Petroleum Nig. Ltd., in Lafia, the capital of Nasarawa State.
It was gathered that the explosion was caused by gas leakage from one of the reservoirs at the gas station. According to reports, two motorists, who first noticed the leakage, attempted to flee but collided and went up in flames. About 17 vehicles, including two fuel tankers, motorcycles and three tricycles caught in the inferno, were burnt to ashes.
The Deputy Governor, Mr Silas Agara, said during on-the-spot assessment visit to the scene of the incident that the government would take the necessary steps to unravel the cause of the accident.
Agara, accompanied by the Commissioner of Police, Yahaya Bello, and Chairman, Lafia Local Government, Malam Aminu Muazu, described the explosion which occurred at Monaco Gas plant within the premises of Natson Filling station on Jos Road, Lafia, as most unfortunate.
He expressed his condolences and sympathy to the victims on behalf of Governor Umaru Al-Makura and assured the people of the government’s readiness to respond to the emergency and ensure a thorough investigation of the incident.
Agara applauded the security and emergency response teams for their quick intervention and advised the public to stay away from the scene to allow relevant agencies to carry out their investigation into the matter.
He and his entourage later visited the 37 victims with various degrees of injuries at the Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital, Lafia.
On the casualty figure, Mrs Faustina Alegbe, the Federal Road Safety Corps Sector Commander in the State, told NANthat two persons died while 37 people were injured.
“So far, 37 people are receiving treatment in the hospital but two have been confirmed dead by the doctors.
Sympathisers were seen trooping to the hospital for a glance at victims, who were conveyed to the hospital by officials of Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC, from the scene of the explosion. It was further gathered that some of the victims were caught up in the inferno while plying the Lafia-Abuja Highway, especially students of the Nasarawa State Polytechnic, Lafia, who were going for lectures.