Some eyewitnesses to the Ikeja gas leak have revealed that the cause of the incident is due to ongoing road repairs in the area.
When The punch visited the scene of the gas leak which is under the Ikeja bridge, some houses and shops along the road had been partially demolished. It has been gathered that the government is considering extending the road, hence the gas leak this morning.
Moreso, Nigerian Police Officers, Nigerian Army, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Lagos State Fire Department, Manufacturing Association of Nigeria Fire Department , among others, were on the ground at the scene of the leak.
Eyewitness Adekunle Raji, whose mother sells her wares at the location where the gas leak occurred, claimed The punch that the current road project caused the gas leak.
He said: “I am a trader here and to my knowledge this is the first time that something like this has happened. They said they wanted to widen the road so they demolished some structures. While they were doing this I think they made a mistake and hit a pipeline and it was not fixed. They are still rehabilitating the road.
“People are still trading here and nothing like this has ever happened. This is the first time this kind of thing has happened. This particular place where it happened is where my mom sells her wares and I help her as well. The leak had a huge impact on our business.
Another eyewitness who simply identified himself as Jeremiah Kufre said: “The leak was due to the ongoing road project. They should have informed the gas company of the road repairs to prevent gas from flowing through these pipes. The partial demolition of the buildings is due to the fact that they want to extend the road. When the incident happened, gas was gushing out but the right authorities were notified and they came here in a hurry. That’s why you can see them all on the ground. It started in the morning.
Talk further with The punch, Manufacturing Association of Nigeria fire chief Emmanuel Oladotun Ismail explained, “There is a road extension project going on here and the gas leak is certainly due to the ongoing project.
“It was after the buildings were demolished that people realized that there were gas leaks. They started to smell the gas and it really spread, meaning it covered the whole environment.
“Gaslink which circulates the gas through the pipes shut it down, so we wait until the remaining gas is exhausted by consumers. When it runs out, we’ll know what to do.
Speaking about the efforts of the Lagos State Fire Department, a senior Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service official, who declined to reveal his name, said the ‘matter was under control.
“As you can see it’s a gas leak, we got the call after 7 am. They informed us that there was a gas leak under the bridge at Ikeja, so we quickly activated our men and when we got to the scene we found the area where the gas was coming out. We quickly evacuated people and cordoned off the area so that there was no obstruction. The white substance on the floor is called the chemical foam compound. This is what we use to cover the surface; it will neutralize the leak so that there is no fire.
“I have our men traveling to educate people about the environment so that they can suspend anything that has to do with open fire so that it does not compromise our efforts. The MAN Fire Department is here to complement our efforts, so that’s what we’ve been doing here for now. We called the people in charge of the gas line and were assured that it was closed so that there was no gas passing through the line. However, it is impossible for us not to perceive it because of those who remain in the pipeline. We are on top of the situation, ”he said.