A gas explosion at a gas refill facility in Lafia, Nasarawa has left a couple of people dead an over 50 receiving treatment for various degrees of burns at the Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital.
The explosion which happened on Monday morning at about 10 am, was said to be as a result of a gas leakage from Monaco gas refill station located in the premises of Natson petrol station.
“Several persons have been roasted beyond recognition and others injured”, the Daily Post is reporting.
Residents said the explosion was so powerful that it damaged adjacent buildings and ripped out nearby windows.
More reporting from The Nation, whose correspondent was on ground after the incident, reveals that an eyewitness, Mr Livingstone Chukwu, said the leaking gas did not cause immediate damage to the gas and petrol stations until it made contact with the exhaust of commercial motorcyclists setting over 20 ablaze in an instant as cars on the road also caught fire burning the occupants.
He said: “The owner of the gas station took off to safety before the raging fire from the road eventually engulfed the petrol and gas stations burning them to ashes with all the persons in the station at the time.
The incident which coincided with the visit to the PDP secretariat by the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, left those who earlier converged at the party Secretariat running for their dear lives.
When THE NATION visited the casualty unit of the Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital (DASH), Lafia, it was littered with burnt bodies of victims of the gas explosion as medical personnel of the hospital battle to save their lives.
This was even as sympathisers thronged out in hundreds at the hospital premises to catch a glimpse of the horrific incident when victims of the inferno were conveyed in by the officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) from the spot of the explosion.
When our correspondent spoke to one of the sympathisers, Ibrahim Mushasha, at the casualty unit of DASH, he said,”so far over 50 burnt persons have been conveyed into the unit for urgent medication to save their lives.
“Some of the victims were caught up in the inferno as they were plying the Lafia – Abuja road, especially students of the Nasarawa State Polytechnic, Lafia who were going to the school for lectures, and persons travelling on that road as at the time of the gas explosion.
A female medical personnel attending to the victims at the casualty unit of the hospital declined to comment on the number of casualties so far conveyed into the casualty unit for treatment when our correspondent sought to know.
The wives of the governor, deputy governor, officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) were on the ground providing succour.
However, the state government had directed the evacuation of all affected persons to the Federal Medical Centre, Keffi, for treatment as the facilities at DASH were not enough to accommodate victims.
When the reporter visited the mortuary, the attendant, who refused to disclose his name said no corpse was deposited as at the time of filing this report.