Following the recent gas tanker explosion in Lagos, the Director-General of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Dr Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, on Saturday provided further insight into the fire incident that claimed five lives and consumed no fewer than 25 vehicles on Thursday.
According to him, the fire outbreak that greeted the leakage from a moving cooking gas truck on Mobolaji Bank-Anthony Way, Ikeja, Lagos was ignited by a spark from the kitchen of the Chinese restaurant in which the manager and two of his colleagues were killed on the spot.
The restaurant is located inside the Ogun State Property Investment Corporation (OPIC) Plaza where other offices were also burnt.
Oke-Osanyintolu, who read a preliminary report on its investigation of the incident in Lagos yesterday, said: “Close investigation revealed that the leaking cooking gas from the truck was ignited by the exposed fire from the kitchen of the new Chinese restaurant inside OPIC Plaza.
“As a result of wind action, the whole area of OPIC structure was engulfed with fire.
“The fire trailed the cooking gas, resulting in the combustion of the gas tanker outside the compound.”
Oke-Osanyintolu added that the fire from the explosion resulted in severe damage to the OPIC Plaza building.
He said that LASEMA’s “Tiger Team” received a distress call at about 10.57 pm on Thursday and immediately swung into action with its private-sector technical partner.
“On arrival at the scene of the incident, it was discovered that a 13.5-ton gas tanker in motion was leaking its content,” he said.
Oke-Osanyintolu said the fire resulted in 13 burns causalities at the scene, who were given first aid by LASEMA before they were taken to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) and Gbagada General Hospital for further treatment.
“Unfortunately, three adult males were further discovered dead at the scene and their bodies were bagged and transported to the morgue.
“Also, two victims died while undergoing medical attention at LASUTH, hence a total of five fatalities were recorded as at the time this report was put together,” he said.
He added that LASEMA and other responders evacuated other occupants of the building to a safe place while the Lagos State Government Fire Service ensured that the fire was prevented from spreading to nearby buildings.
He said also that the crowd and traffic control were managed with the help of the police, LASTMA and FRSC officials.
Oke-Osanyintolu said the OPIC Plaza had been cordoned off as a disaster zone and prepared for further investigation, adding that 24 vehicles were burnt in the inferno.