Gas Explosions in Abeokuta: Governor Urges Prompt Evacuations and Compensation Pledges

By Olaide Ajibola, JKNMedia Reporter

OGUN State Governor Dapo Abiodun has taken swift action following a devastating gas explosion that rocked the Ota-Oshin area of Abeokuta, the state capital on Saturday evening.

Expressing deep sympathy for the victims, the governor ordered the evacuation of affected buildings to facilitate integrity tests on their structures.

The explosion, reportedly triggered by a lone accident involving a gas truck labelled Gasco Marine, occurred around 5.00pm at Ita-Oshin junction, just a short distance from the roundabout.

The truck, traveling towards Abeokuta, lost control and collided with the road pavement before coming to an abrupt halt.

The driver fled the scene, leaving behind the tragic loss of life of the truck boy, whose mutilated remains were subsequently deposited at General Hospital, Ijaiye.

In the aftermath of the incident, four parked vehicles were reduced to ashes, further underscoring the scale of destruction unleashed by the explosion.

During an on-the-spot assessment of the affected areas on Sunday, Governor Abiodun pledged comprehensive support for those impacted by the disaster and assured property owners of adequate compensation, emphasizing his administration’s commitment to covering the medical expenses of individuals receiving treatments in hospitals.

He also raised significant concerns regarding the safety of the trucks transporting Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) across the country, highlighting issues of regulation and roadworthiness; and called for a thorough examination of the transportation practices within the industry.

Governor Abiodun also outlines a series of proactive measures to address the root causes of such accidents. He announced plans to enact legislation aimed at enhancing oversight of the industry and ensuring compliance with safety standards.

Additionally, he directed relevant government agencies to verify the roadworthiness of tanker trucks entering their states, scheduling a meeting with the Petroleum Tanker Drivers Association to discuss safety protocols.

Emphasizing the need for robust regulatory frameworks, Gov Abiodun urged the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) to stay abreast of industry developments and enforce stringent standards for CNG tanks used in transportation.

Ogun governor also reaffirmed his administration’s unwavering commitment to preventing future tragedies and supporting the nation’s energy transition efforts, noting that this incident should serve as a stark reminder of the critical importance of stringent safety measures in the transportation and handling of hazardous materials.

He notes that as investigations into the root cause of the explosion continue, residents and stakeholders should await further actions from the government towards mitigating the risks associated with similar incidents in the future, Governor Abiodun remarked.  

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