30 December 2014, Lagos – The Nigerian Association of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers (NALPGAM) has blamed the recent gas explosion that occurred at Arakale market in Akure, Ondo State, on illegal gas re-filling plants and urged the government at all levels to clamp down on all illegal outlets in the country to avoid incessant gas explosions.
About 10 persons, including a pregnant woman, were seriously injured with millions of naira worth of property burnt down recently at a gas explosion in Akure.
The Governor of Ondo State, Mr. Olusegun Mimiko and the state’s Police Commissioner, Mr Isaac Eke, visited the scene to commiserate with the market women and shop owners affected by the fire.
National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, and the state police command claimed that nobody died in the incident.
The incident started around 6.30 pm at a gas outlet located beside Saint Thomas’ Anglican Church, Arakale area of Akure metropolis.
After the gas outlet was supplied with gas, people around the area were said to have discovered that one of the cylinders was leaking.
However, barely 10 minutes after the owner of the facility was alerted as the odour of the leaking gas became unbearable, one of the cylinders burst and the explosion spread to other shops, razing them in quick successions.
Speaking to journalists in Lagos on the incident, the NALPGAM Public Relations Officer, Mrs Oluwafunke Eleyinmi, said that there was the need for government to commence prosecution of unregistered cooking gas refilling outlets to avoid indiscriminate explosions in the country.
According to her, most cooking gas explosions were caused by illegal gas plant operators who are not members of NALPGAM.
“We want to use this medium to advise Nigerians to report any illegal gas re-filling outlets within their neighborhood to the authorities. We commiserate with Ondo state government over the recent gas explosion incident, we also appeal to gas marketers to be safety conscious,’’ she said.
He also called on the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to publish names of accredited gas refilling retailers in the country.
She urged the marketers who operated without license to register with DPR urgently to avoid wasting the lives of Nigerians, adding that NALPGAM would soon commence “Operation Show Your Licenses’’ to curb illegal operators
She said that government should design a method of tracking some of the illegal gas re-filling plant stations in the country to curb the menace of gas explosion.
– This Day