Many persons on Thursday night sustained varying injuries while properties, including vehicles destroyed after a gas tanker exploded along Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way, Ikeja in Lagos.
It was gathered the tanker exploded around 10:32pm on Thursday as a result of unconfirmed leakage while on motion inward Ikeja.
Sources said the fire, which resulted from the explosion was wind transported to the premises of Ogun State Property Investment Company (OPIC) Plaza beside Sheraton Hotel, a facility that housed many businesses.
According to responders, the fire was eventually put out around 12:30am with the help of seven fire trucks from Lagos Fire Service and LASEMA Response Unit.
The Nation learnt 13 persons, comprising nine males and four females, sustained varying degrees of burns and were moved to Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) for first aid.
Four of the victims whose situations were adjudged critical, it was gathered, were later evacuated to the Burns Centre, General Hospital Gbagada around 02:30am on Friday.
At least 25 vehicles were said to have been burnt in the fire, which reportedly led to the evacuation of all guests at Sheraton Hotel.
In no time, a heavy traffic congestion that grounded movements on all entrances/exits routes to Ikeja built up, trapping motorists for several hours.
Some of the trapped motorists along Mobolaji Bank Anthony Way, who made short videos of the incident, blamed slow response by emergency services for escalation of the inferno.
The videos shared on social platforms showed aggrieved onlookers, lamenting how it took rescuers more than 30 minutes to get to the scene of the fire.
Confirming the incident, the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), in a short message, said all emergency workers were at the scene working to contain the situation.
Director General (DG) LASEMA, Dr. Femi Oke-Osanyintolu said information gathered at the scene revealed the fire started as a result of explosion while the gas tanker was moving inward ikeja.
“The fire spread to Opic plaza and affected the building and vechiles parked at the car park. Effort to put out the fire is ongoing. All the first responders are on the ground,” he said.
Preliminary assessment on vehicles damaged indicated that about 25 were burnt.
Comprehensive post disaster assessment on the extent of general damages would be done later on Friday.
The Nation gathered Commissioner of Police (CP) Hakeem Odumosu was at the scene and took charge of crowd control throughout the operation.
Oke-Osanyintolu and police spokesman, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, were yet to reply to messages requesting casualty details and other statistics at the time of filing this report.
The Nation Newspaper