Kaduna Gas Explosion: Death Toll Rises to 8 as More Bodies are Recovered

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Timipre Sylva

The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) on Friday said a combine team of DPR, KEPA and other agencies have recovered mutilated bodies of three more victims of the Jan. 4 Kaduna gas explosion.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the recovery of the three bodies brings to eight the number of victims killed by the gas explosion.

The North West Zonal Controller, DPR, Isa Tafida made the disclosure during a condolence visit to the family of the late Chairman of Nigeria Atomic Energy Commission, Prof. Simon Mallam.

Tafida represented the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, and the Director, DPR, Auwalu Sarki during the condolence to the family of the late professor at Gonin Gora, Kaduna.

Tafida also paid a sympathy visit to Joel Daniel, 36, a survivor of the explosion being treated from severe burns at St Gerrad Hospital, Kaduna.

“The department in collaboration with security and other government agencies including KEPA and KASUPDA evacuated the cylinders in the shop where the gas explosion occurred to safety and in the process, mutilated bodies of three other victims were recovered under the debris.

“The operator who brought the calamity upon the victims was operating at the premises illegally.

“From the information we received, he came from another location because of our campaign against illegal gas operators, unfortunately, nobody alerted us,“ he said.

Tafida said DPR, together with the security and other agencies would comb the nooks and crannies of the country to check such illegal operators.

“While expressing the condolences of the Minister of State Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva and the Director, DPR, Auwalu Sarki to you and other members of the family, we will like to assure you that government is taking adequate measures to forestall reoccurrence of such disasters which has to do with illegality,“ Tafida said.

He said the department has also engaged in public sensitization on safe handling of gas.

“This particular incident did not have to do with Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) but industrial gas also known as Acetylene which is used for welding and in some industrial activities,“ he said.

The official said that Acetylene is more dangerous than LPG and whoever is engaging in that type of business should get approval and license from relevant authorities to avert danger.

He assured that security agencies were working to track down the operator of the gas shop who is currently at large.

Meanwhile, the family of the late professor has appealed to the Federal Government to take appropriate regulatory measures to avert similar incidents in any part of the country.

Dorcas Kasang-Aderigbigbe, daughter of the deceased, made the appeal while receiving the delegation.

“Because you are coming from the minister and the Department of Petroleum Resources, please we the family members want to appeal to those in authority at the national level to take necessary steps to ensure that this does not happen to any family again.

“It has come to our notice that the Kaduna State governor and the agencies involved are doing something about it in the state, but we want to appeal that steps be taken at the national level to ensure that this does not happen again.

“We do not want any family to go through what we are going through.

“That is why we are pleading that whatever regulatory measures that needed to be taken, be taken to ensure that this does not happen again,” Kasang-Aderigbigbe said. (NAN)