HomePolitics TodayEmergency Response: Gov Abiodun Orders Immediate Evacuation Following Ogun Gas Explosion

Emergency Response: Gov Abiodun Orders Immediate Evacuation Following Ogun Gas Explosion

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Afor Kenneth 

Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, has issued an order for the evacuation of residents from buildings affected by Saturday’s gas explosion in the Ita-Oshin area of Abeokuta North Local Government Area. 

During an on-the-spot assessment of the damage to properties and businesses in the vicinity, the governor emphasized the importance of conducting integrity tests on the affected buildings.

He further pledged that the state government would cover the hospital expenses of the victims while assuring compensation for owners of damaged property.

Overtnews reports that the incident, which resulted in at least one fatality, six injuries, and the destruction of six vehicles, occurred due to a gas tanker explosion on the Abeokuta-Sango-Lagos Expressway.

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Florence Okpe, spokesperson for the Ogun State Sector Command of the Federal Road Safety Corps, confirmed the occurrence, attributing it to brake failure of the gas truck, leading to loss of control and collision with the kerb.

Okpe said, “The crash occurred at about 1610 hrs, involving a tanker laden with gas. The number of people involved was six and all male adults; two got injured but unfortunately, one person died from the fire incident, which is the motor boy who was trapped.”

Addressing the scene of the incident on Sunday, Governor Abiodun expressed concern about the safety of trucks transporting Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) throughout the nation.

He said: “As a responsible state government, our emergency management team has taken stock of all those businesses, and residences that have been affected by this unfortunate incident.

“What has happened yesterday throws up a lot of questions, far-ranging questions. The issues around safety, regulation, roadworthiness of the modes of transportation, and issues around the required regulatory oversight for the entire industry must be looked into.

“Are these issues happening at the same speed as the industry is progressing? This would allow us to better understand and answer those questions.

“I have directed that one or two buildings be evacuated until our regulatory agency that is in charge does the required integrity test on those buildings, to ensure that they are safe for our people to continue to live in there.

“All those affected will be compensated; all those who are in the hospital, we will take over their treatment.”

Governor Abiodun announced that a meeting between the state government and the Petroleum Tanker Drivers Association would convene on Monday in his office to address the safety concerns regarding tankers operating on roads within the state.

He urged the Standards Organisation of Nigeria to closely monitor the rapid advancements in the industry, emphasizing the need for ensuring that CNG tanks used by trucks meet the necessary standards promptly.

Meanwhile, Gasco Marine, the gas company responsible for the truck involved in the explosion, has pledged to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the incident.

In its statement on Sunday, Gasco Marine said, “We are saddened by this unfortunate event. Our thoughts and condolences go out to the family of the deceased, and the affected individuals whose properties were affected. We are doing everything we can to support them during this difficult time.

“At Gasco Marine, the safety and well-being of employees and the communities we operate in are of utmost priority.

“We also take this opportunity to assure our stakeholders that we strictly adhere to all safety standards. We remain committed to continuously strengthening our health and safety policies to prevent such unfortunate incidents from occurring in the future.”

The company extended commendations to the emergency response teams, including personnel from the FRSC, Ogun State Traffic Compliance and Control Agency, the Nigerian Police Force, and representatives of the Ogun State government, for their swift response and assistance at the scene.

“We at Gasco Marine have also activated our emergency response protocols and are cooperating fully with relevant authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident.

“We will continue to update all stakeholders as the investigation progresses. Our focus remains on supporting the affected families and ensuring the highest levels of safety across our operations,” the statement added.

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