By Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
No fewer than three persons have been confirmed dead while 10 persons sustained various degrees of injuries after a five kilogram gas cylinder exploded at a residential building.
The incident was said to have occurred at No 32 Osazuwa Street, off Benin-Agbor expressway in Ikpoba-Okha local government area of the state.
Among the deceased were two siblings – Favour, aged two and Odion, aged 11.
The gas explosion which occurred in the early hours of Sunday affected four families when fire engulfed the building
One of the victims, Ese Egharevba, whose husband and two children were affected told journalists she was outside when she heard the explosion.
Mrs. Egharevba said they found the cylinder and took it outside while her husband called on residents in the building not to strike any match or put on their stoves.
She stated that unknown to them, a family was already cooking inside and when one of their children attempted to open the door, fire engulfed the building.
A teacher who gave his name as Christian Unuame said the owner of the cylinder that exploded does not live in the building.
According to him, “The cylinder exploded around after seven. We took the cylinder outside and we warned everybody not to put on any fire. I went to the bathroom to take my bath and some minutes later fire erupted.
“Nobody in the house uses gas to cook. It was somebody that kept the cylinder in my neighbour’s room. I just finish my youth service and I am managing a teaching job.”
Another victim who gave his name as Bello could only utter few words as some of the surviving victims were admitted at the Enoma Hospital in the area.
Meanwhile, mother of the deceased siblings and her eldest daughter were said to have been referred to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital.