Death toll from the Monday gas explosion at Monaco gas station in Lafia, Nasarawa State has risen to nine.
Governor Umaru Al-Makura confirmed the figure yesterday when he visited the scene of the incident to assess the level of damage.
Al-Makura, who described the incident as “unfortunate,” condoled with the families of those who lost their lives.
The governor, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), promised that his administration would do its best to give the survivors of the explosion the best of medical attention.
He said: “Last night (Monday), I got a report that six people died as a result of the burns sustained from the incident, but this morning (yesterday), I was told that three more people had been confirmed dead.
“We were able to transfer 17 victims, who had over 60 per cent burns out of the 37 persons affected to the National Trauma Centre in Abuja, but three among them later died.
“Shortly before I arrived here, another child died while being removed from a pregnant mother, who also suffered severe burns.
“So, at the moment, we have recorded nine deaths as against the large figures being speculated in the media.”
Al-Makura said the remaining 14 victims currently at the National Trauma Centre were responding to treatment.
He added: “I have directed that all the victims be given the best treatment available and for those in critical condition, requiring to be moved abroad, the Nasarawa State Government will take care of their bills just to ensure they live.”
The governor called on residents to obtain proper approval before siting their structures in order to avert a repeat of such ugly occurrence.
He said: “I have called for a meeting with the Committee on Development Control for us to review approvals for siting all businesses that pose danger to the people, especially gas stations.
“We have agreed that existing stations must comply with the safe distance specifications.”
The governor also said that he had directed the state fire service to cordon-off the area for the next seven days to ensure that it was totally safe for habitation.
He added: “We discovered that gas was still leaking from the tanks and we are making contact with the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and other agencies with the necessary equipment to assist in evacuating gas from the area.”
The state Chief Fire Officer, Mr Dogara Dalhatu, attributed the explosion to a spark around the vicinity where the gas was being discharged.
Dalhatu, however, said the inferno had been put under control by men of the fire service.
He said that about 10 vehicles, five motorcycles and three tricycles were destroyed by the fire.
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