A fire explosion at Fire Junction, Ijegun in Igando-Ikotun Local Council Development Area has left two persons dead and property worth millions of naira destroyed.
Witnesses said the fire was caused by the activities of pipeline vandals who were loading their petrol tankers with petroleum products siphoned from the pipelines.
An eyewitness, Isaac Adesanya, said that the fire was ignited when a road side food seller made a fire to begin her day’s trade when fuel from the already vandalised pipelines leaked to the gutter and caused the explosion.
He said, “Last night some vandals came to vandalise the pipe. In the process of doing that, they were trying to fill the last tanker they brought with them at about 5 a.m.
“Now a woman that cooks not too far away from here set up her fire to start her cooking. The fire actually started from the gutter because there was a leakage.
“Before you know, the whole place had caught fire. The fire then affected even people on the other side (Irede Street).
“So far only two people have been confirmed dead, but as you can see all the cars are burnt. So that is the main issue here.”
Safety Record gathered that the two persons confirmed dead were sleeping in one of the buses close to the pipeline, and unconfirmed accounts had it that several others were burnt while fleeing into the nearby canal.
The fire extended to Irede Street close to the site of the explosion. Shops in front of the Irede Mosque were gutted by fire, with a particular foodstuff seller losing bags of rice, garri, beans and other foodstuff.
“It is an extension of the fire explosion you can see up there at Fire junction, so we believe that when the explosion started it entered through the gutter (the fuel) and the fire followed it. It affected buildings, cars and shops in the area,” Kelechi, a resident of the street, said.
Video credit: Kasamadupe Oluwaseun
When approached by our reporter, a teacher attached to the Ijegun Junior Grammar School who spoke under condition of anonymity explained that the fire explosion had forced the school to suspend activities for the safety of students and teachers.
The teacher further explained that the security post of the school and parts of the primary school was gutted by the fire.
“It started from the transformer (close to the school). Students can’t come to school. No school activities.
“You can see that some of the teachers are even on their way home. It affected the transformer, the security post, but the school building itself is still in shape.
“The primary school was affected and as it is the building is already weakened. The government really needs to intervene if not by the time normal school activities start taking place it might endanger the pupils there.
“So, just the transformer, the front of the school, the security post and parts of the primary school were affected.”
Officials of the Lagos State Fire Service, Nigeria Police Force, Lagos state Emergency Management Agency, Lagos Neighbourhood Safety Corps, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and Nigerian Army personnel were on ground to combat the fire and maintain law and order in the area.
An official of the Lagos State Fire Service confirmed to our reporter that two persons died in the incident but declined to give any further information.
Safety Record can report that the fire was still burning as at 12:15pm.