.Buhari, Deputy Gov .commiserate with victims’ families
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) says preliminary investigation revealed that the cause of the Kaduna gas explosion was as a result of illegal decanting (transfer) of LPG into another cylinder by operators of this facility.
Mr. Paul Osu, Head, Public Affairs of the agency disclosed this in a statement issued on Sunday in Lagos.
Osu said the agency commiserates with the families affected by this unfortunate incident.
According to DPR, “An incident of gas explosion was reported to have occurred at an unlicensed LPG retail shop in Kaduna, Kaduna State, resulting in fatalities.
“In line with our regulatory oversight on the oil and gas industry, the agency immediately mobilised our staff to the scene to investigate the cause of the explosion.
“We wish to inform the public that we are carrying out further investigations on the incident, and we will update as soon as we conclude,” he said.
Osu said that the department will continue to monitor and sensitise members of the public on safe handling of petroleum products to prevent the occurrence of incidences like this.
“We appeal to members of the public to continue to assist in reporting the activities of illegal operators to the nearest DPR office.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed deep sadness over the gas explosion which led to the death of the Chairman, Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission, Professor Simon Mallam, his son and three others at Sabon Tasha area of Kaduna on Saturday.
Reacting to the incident, President Buhari said: “I am deeply touched by this unfortunate incident that claimed the lives of Professor Simon Mallam, his son and others.
“The death of the erudite Professor has robbed Nigeria of a great scientist whose services were acutely needed at a time we are increasing emphasis on science and technology for development.
“I extend my heartfelt sympathy to his family and those of other victims of the gas explosion. May God comfort these families and give them the fortitude to bear the loss,” President Buhari added.
Also, the Kaduna State Deputy Governor, Dr Hadiza Balarabe, has called on those engaged in the sale of inflammable goods to move to areas that have been designated by government for such business.
The deputy governor made the call when she visited victims of Saturday’s gas explosion receiving treatment at Sabo, Barau Dikko and St Gerald hospitals in Kaduna.
Balarabe also paid condolence visit to the family of Prof. Simon Mallam, who died in the incident.
Mallam was the Chairman of Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission and was among the six people who died in the gas explosion.
Four others sustained major injuries.
Balarabe urged residents to notify the government of any gas outlet in their area so that actions can be taken quickly.
She said it was illegal to locate businesses of inflammables in populated areas.
“This unfortunate incident is an eye opener for people to know the fact that selling flammable materials within a place where we have congregation of people is actually not the best.”
She called on the people to always abide by government policies put in place for their safety.
“This is one thing we are really going to enforce to ensure that people do the right thing while also taking responsibility for their actions,” she said.
“It is a sad weekend for this to happen early in the New Year.
“It is a sad and unfortunate and this is bringing to the fore the need for us as a people to come together to expose people that come to our area and site these kind of shops that are not supposed to be situated there.
“It is sad and unfortunate that we don’t take safety into consideration.
“Most of the time, it takes pains for us to realise that some of the things we do are really not supposed to be done that way, I think this is one of such unfortunate situations.”
Balarabe prayed for peace to those who died and fortitude for their families to bear the loss.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the deputy governor was was accompanied by Samuel Aruwan, Commissioner, Internal Security and Home Affairs, Maimuna Abubakar, Executive Secretary State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and officers of the Nigerian Police, Federal and State Fire Services.
It would be recalled that several persons lost their lives and many others were burnt in a gas explosion at the Sabon Tasha area of Kaduna metropolis on Saturday.
The explosion occurred at about 1:00pm at a gas shop located by the main road opposite Total Filling station, at the ever busy Sabon Tasha.
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