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Gas Explosion Wreaks Havoc In Enugu

A heavy gas explosion wreaked havoc in Enugu on Monday, causing large-scale destruction of properties.

Among the properties destroyed were a filling station, a nearby six-bedroom duplex and three tankers.

The gas explosion occurred at Juhel Filling Station at Trans Ekulu, near Penoks Junction end of Enugu/Onitsha Expressway.

Eyewitnesses said gas leakage caused the explosion while a tanker discharged Liquefied Petroleum Gas at the station.

No life was lost but the ensuing inferno, which lasted over three hours, razed the filling station, tankers, a nearby building and a commercial bus parked in the area.

There was total pandemonium leading to a serious traffic congestion around the area, even up to the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army and Opi-Nike bypass, leading to Nsukka.

Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, who visited the scene with his deputy, Cecilia Ezeilo; Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Edward Ubosi; the Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Danmallam, among others, to ascertain the level of destruction, promised to compensate and re-establish those affected in the inferno.

While sympathizing with the victims, Governor Ugwuanyi said: “As your governor, I came here as soon as I heard about the fire incident. I am here because your concern is my concern. So we thank God that no life was lost to the unfortunate incident. As a government, we are going to resettle you before January 3, 2019.”

Oha Okwudili, the Chief Fire Officer, Enugu State Fire Service, who spoke at the scene of the incident, said they received a distress call around 9:30 a.m. that Juhel Filling Station was on fire.

“Quickly, I dispatched my men to the scene. Unfortunately, our first responder truck had an accident and fell down before it got there but I had to re-mobilize another team who arrived at the scene with five fire-fighters and one water tanker. By the special grace of God, we were able to put the fire out.

“If not, this fire would have spread to other areas,” he said.

On the actual cause of the inferno, Okwudili said investigation had not been concluded, but preliminary investigations showed that a tanker carrying cooking gas was discharging and probably, there was a spark and the vehicle caught fire.