It was revealed that more than 180 students from God’s Banner School at 16 Adeolu Street in the Ladipo area of Lagos state came out unscathed on Tuesday when a gas explosion shook a mechanical workshop in the back of the school, according to The PUNCH.
The PUNCH correspondent who was at the scene noted that while the large machine shop was located at numbers 35 and 37 Ojekunle Street, the school which was well fenced off on Adeolu Street directly supported the explosion site on Ojekunle Street.
The PUNCH reports that more than 180 students, including primary and secondary school students, were quickly missing when the blast hit the back of the school at the mechanic’s end on Tuesday.
The PUNCH correspondent, who visited the school, noted that it was deserted at around 1pm on Tuesday.
A school official who chose to remain anonymous told The PUNCH correspondent that management immediately dispersed the students when the blast occurred Tuesday morning.
The official said the blast occurred soon after the students finished their usual morning assembly and settled into their various classrooms.
“The gas explosion happened suddenly in the back of the school, but luckily we don’t have any injured children and all the parents have brought their children to safety. We have around 180 students, ”the official said in an interview with our correspondent at the school on Tuesday.
“The place where the gas explosion occurred was not part of the (school) building; is the other side. It didn’t affect the school, ”he explained.
The male official also said that the parents rushed to school minutes after handing their children over to the school management.
Asked if an explosion had already occurred in the area, the official said the school has been in existence for over a decade and no explosions have occurred in the past.
He said the school management will decide when to reopen the facility for academic activities, but said student safety remains a priority.
“The management has decided to leave the students at home for tomorrow and until the environment is favorable,” he added.
Over five people were burned to death in the mechanical workshop where the explosion occurred around 8 am on Tuesday.
Lagos State Security Commission Director-General Lanre Mojola confirmed to The PUNCH at the scene that five lives were lost in the blast.
However, he declined to comment on the number of injured.
The director general of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, also confirmed the death of the five people.
He also said the remains of the deceased were bagged and delivered to their families.
Dozens of gas cylinders were also evacuated from the premises while over 10 vehicles in the mechanics’ premises were shattered and destroyed by the impact of the explosion.
The incident, it was picked up, occurred when a gas dealer known as Sodiq was dispensing gas to a customer. A phone call was reported which triggered the explosion. The shop fire of a woman known as Mama Emma who was frying puff-puff on the premises also reportedly contributed to the explosion.
Lagos State Police Commissioner Hakeem Odumosu, who was at the scene with his men, said the incident was entirely avoidable.
“It was completely avoidable. Someone who dispensed gas and even answered a phone call caused this. This is the cause of all this, ”he told reporters.
Meanwhile, the blast paralyzed businesses on the ever-busy Ojekunle Street and hundreds of shops were closed as security officers and rescuers sealed off the rescue area.
“Once the place is suitable for human activities, the whole place would be open. I can’t say if it will be in the next hour, two or three hours; it is up to the experts to do it, ”Odumosu said.