VIDEO: Shop owners count losses as another explosion rocks Lagos

Shop owners at Toyin bus stop, Iju-ishaga, Lagos state are still counting their losses after Tuesday night gas explosion that burnt down their businesses.

The explosion which occurred at about 10 pm created panic as residents of the area scampered for safety.

Blueprint gathered that one person was seriously injured by the fire incident, but is still battling for survival in a nearby healthcare centre which later referred him to a government-owned hospital.

So far, over I5 shops were reportedly razed down.

It was gathered that a truck loaded with gas had come to offload content at cooking gas store when one of the cylinders exploded.

The inferno, according to eyewitness, spread from the store at Toyin bus stop to other shops.

As at the time of filing this report, emergency responders were still putting out the fire in one of the shops. They were also seen controlling both human and vehicular traffic in the area.

One of the shop owners who simply identified herself as madam Elizabeth told Blueprint Correspondent that she lost over N13 million worth of cream products.

“I mix cream and sell to people. The least cream that I sell is N5,000. I have the cream of N25,000. I have the one of M50,000 The worst is that I just stalk my shop. I lost over N13 million. I had closed from the shop, hoping for today (Valentine’s day), to hook up with my customers who said they would come early in the day. My brother, see what has befallen me and my other colleagues. This is just the beginning of the year. It is too early to start a year with such a tragedy, she said.

Another shop owner, Mr. Daniel Eze, who lost close to N50 milion, said he sells electrical materials.

“I’m finished. Who will bail me out? When I heard that fire was burning our shops, I didn’t envisage that it would touch mine, because my shop is at the other side of the road. I just rushed down to sympathise with my colleagues but when I arrived the scene, I saw the unimaginable. My shop was completely razed down. I could not remove a pin from my shop. I’m calling on the government to come to our rescue because some of us will go back home or become beggars on the street,” he said.

Mr Samuel Afolabi, a resident thanked the management of Kerosone filling station who did their best to douse the fire before emergency responders.

“We thought that the fire started from the filling station. The management unleashed their staff and fire extinguishers on the fire. If not for him, the fire would have caused more damages. if not for the filling station, the fire would have engulfed The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which stands between the shops and the filling station,” he said.

Another resident, Michael Ndubuisi, told Blueprint Correspondent that, “we thought it was war. I live opposite the gas shop where the fire started, and I was already in my room preparing to go to bed when I started hearing the sound of explosives. Due to the heightened sound, I ran out of my house and I was running when I saw other people running too. The road was full of confusion. It was after some while that I was able to figure out what really happened.”

Territorial Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Ibrahim Farinloye, who confirmed the incident urged the people around the area to calm down and avoid panic, as Fire Service personnel have brought the situation under control completely.

As at the time of filing this report, there was still mammoth crowd on the road who came to see the damage done by the explosion.

The gathering has caused serious human and vehicular traffic.

The Police and other sister security agencies were on the ground.