The Ogun State Government has sealed a gas plant and some outlets and stopped sales of gas and gas welding following another gas explosion which injured two persons in Abeokuta.
This incident occurred barely 24 hours after two persons died in an explosion that hit the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library. This incident which is the fifth explosion occurred at the Onikoko area of Abeokuta around 10am on Friday. It caused panic in the state capital.
There had been five incidents of explosions in various parts of Abeokuta in the past nine days, killing about 11 people including an infant.
Our correspondent who visited the scene of the latest incident on Friday gathered that the exploded gas kept in a garage belonged to a construction firm.
An iron splinter from the exploded gas cylinder flew to about 200 metres inside St. Leo’s College, Onikoko, and hit a female victim injuring one of her breasts.
Reacting to the incidents, the Commissioner for Special Duties, Femi Ogunbanwo, and Special Adviser to the governor on Environment, Ola Oresanya, confirmed that two persons were injured.
The duo who addressed stakeholders on the incident, said the government was compelled to honour and investigate the causes of the explosion in the state capital.
Addressing journalists after the stakeholders meeting, Oresanya said that the state government had sealed off an industrial gas retailing depot at Omida, a gas plant at Idi-Ori in the Ewekoro Local Government Area and many outlets.
Oresanya stated, “Immediately after the explosions, we went out to establish facts before taking decisions and our findings on the field confirmed what the associations also alluded.
We are able to trace all the explosions to welding situations. That is a fact. All of them were during the process of welding and casualties are mainly welders.
“There are two groups; one group produces oxygen and the other group sells cooking gas. Ordinarily, welders are not supposed to use cooking gas with oxyacetylene is what they are supposed to use but because they said acetylene is expensive, many of them are now adulterating with the cooking gas. They use cooking gas with oxygen.
“That is the first thing that we have been able to establish now, that could be one of the reasons, but they have been doing that for a long time, why now? Something must have gone wrong. It’s either the kind of oxygen that they are using now is different or the kind of cooking gas is different. Investigation will continue.
“We have sealed the plant. All sales outlets have stopped sales right now. If we are not stopping cooking gas, we will stop all welding gas in Ogun State for now to save people’s lives. No gas welding in Ogun State for now.’’