On Tuesday, businesses were paralyzed on the ever-busy Ojekunle Street in the popular Ladipo market area in Lagos state, as more than 1,000 stores were closed due to the deadly gas explosion that shook a mechanical workshop at 35 and 37 of the long lane …
The PUNCH previously reported that at least five people were burned to death when the blast shook a mechanical room at around 8 am on Tuesday.
About 60 buildings, including two-story and one-story structures that house entirely shops, were closed for commercial activities due to the accident. Each of the buildings housed at least 40 shops.
Our correspondent who was at the site of the blast counted over 1,000 shops closed along the long stretch of road.
A union official also confirmed to The PUNCH that the more than 1,000 members of the association did not open for the day’s business due to the explosion.
Security workers and rescuers have cordoned off the area as rescue operations and on-site assessments continue.
Hundreds of traders were seen in front of their shops arguing in twos or threes as first responders evacuate the burned bodies of the victims.
A trader and member who identified himself as Chukwuemeka Stephen said the traders closed out of solidarity.
“Nobody talks about business today when five people have died. Those who are dead cannot talk about business. We’re closed today, ”he said.
Another trader, Ifeanyi Ikenna, said he arrived at around 9am right after the blast.
Ikenna, whose shop was next to the site of the explosion, thanked God for the ‘miracle’.
He said, “My being alive is for God. Nobody talks about business. People died tragically. And it’s so sad. We are closed for today and perhaps tomorrow “.
The chairman of the mechanical arm of the market, Sowemimo Babatunde, declined comments when our correspondent contacted him on Tuesday.
Our correspondent noted that Babatunde and some other market officials went for an emergency meeting at press time.
Lagos State Police Commissioner Hakeem Odumosu, addressing reporters at the scene, said: “Once the place is in place for human activities, the whole place will be open. I can’t say one hour, two hours, three hours; it is up to the experts to do it “.
The Ladipo market, popularly known for spare parts and other vehicle accessories, is also home to mechanics and other automotive technicians, among others.
The market is one of the largest spare parts hubs in Nigeria.
Source: – The fist