By Ayo Kehinde
The Sunday early morning pipeline explosion that occurred in the Abule-Ado area in Amowo-Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State, spreading to Satellite and Festac Towns and heard within a twenty kilometers radius in the state, has claimed lives, schools, churches and residential buildings whose estimate is yet to be released by the authorities.
The explosion which was heard by residents in far flung areas along the Abeokuta expressway towards Ogun state and Ibafo on the Lagos –Ibadan expressway, is yet to be fully brought under control according to eyewitnesses because the source of the gas leakage is yet to be identified by a combined team of officials of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA and its national counterpart, National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA. Red-Cross and security personnel are on the ground
Meanwhile, some of residents who were trapped in buildings screaming for help, have been rescued while a catholic school where a priest was said to have been conducting mass collapsed suddenly, killing the priest just as 3-storey and 4-storey buildings collapsed like pack of cards.
The fire is said to be so intense that the fire fighters are having a hectic time bringing the raging inferno under control while ambulance stand by. The raging fire has trapped many who shouting for help.
Information is still sketchy as to what caused the fire. Some say pipeline vandals were scooping fuel from a vandalized pipe belonging to the NNPC while others say a tanker was trying to offload some goods when the explosion occurred, affecting a gas station. Yet another say it was caused by a bomb The incident has left an unspecified number of persons dead and others injured.
LASEMA Director-General, Oke-osayinto Damilola told journalists that the fire would soon be brought under control and appealed to residents of the area and the state not to panic, adding that though the destruction has been massive, the casualty would be made public at the right time most probably after a through investigation directed by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has been completed.
As at the time of going to press, information has it that NNPC officials have sealed of the pipelines in the area to assist fire fighters and other rescue agencies take control of the situation. Eleven unidentified persons have been recovered.