No fewer than 17 persons have been confirmed dead and 25 others injured after a gas explosion rocked the Abule-Ado area, near the International Trade Fair Complex, Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State on Sunday.
More than 50 buildings in the area were impacted by the explosion, as hundreds of residents were rendered homeless.
Several vehicles parked in the area were also destroyed by the explosion.
Boarding pupils of the Bethlehem Girls College were trapped in the wreckage of their hostel, as residents and sympathisers pulled them out of the rubble.
The Principal of the college, Rev. Sr. Henritta Alokha, lost her life while attempting to rescue the pupils.
Our correspondents were told that the explosion occurred around 9am after a truck hit some gas cylinders in a gas processing plant.
The gas plant was located near the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s System 2B pipeline’s right of way.
A witness, who identified himself simply as Chibuzor, said his neighbour, who was just delivered of a baby, was trapped after her residence caved in.
He said, “We were in the church when it happened. At first, we thought it was a tanker explosion and we ran out of the church to see what had happened. But on getting out, we saw fire raging.
“My brother’s house was affected and a woman, who just gave birth, was in the house. We cannot hear her voice and she is not picking her calls.
“Immediately the explosion happened, the chapel of the school, where the children were gathered for morning mass, collapsed. Some were trapped underneath the rubble, while some have been rescued and rushed to hospital.”
A Twitter user, Alexehi Imobhio, said he was also in church when the explosion occurred.