Eyewitness said the explosion was caused by gas leakage while a tanker was discharging Liquefied Petroleum Gas at the gas plant

Raphael Ede, Enugu

Property worth millions of naira were yesterday destroyed in a gas explosion that occurred at Juhel Gas Plant, along Peenoks Road, Trans-Ekulu of the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway in Enugu East Local Government Area of the state.

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The incident, which started at about 9:30am lasted over three hours.

Eyewitness said the explosion was caused by gas leakage while a tanker was discharging Liquefied Petroleum Gas at the gas plant located beside two fuel stations, one owned by Juhel and another owned by Master Energy.

Though no life was lost, the ensuing inferno razed the plant, the filling station, tankers, a nearby duplex, commercial bus that was passing, two tricycles, and eight shops, a 100KVA transformer and partially affected the Master Energy Filling Station.

There was pandemonium leading to serious traffic gridlock around the area, forcing a diversion of vehicular movement to other routes.

An eyewitness who gave his name as Oforbuike Nwele, told Daily Sun that the fire, which lasted three hours would have been managed better if the fire service responded on time.

He said the impact of the inferno would not have been so much. “However, we thanked them because when they actually arrived they tried.”

The State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, who visited the scene with his deputy, Mrs Cecilia Ezeilo, the Speaker, State House of Assembly, Edward Ubosi, Commissioner of Police, Mr. Mohammed Danmallam, Director of State Security Services and the Enugu East Local

Government chairman to ascertain the level of destruction promised to compensate and re-establish those that were affected in the inferno.

While sympathising with the victims, Governor Ugwuanyi said: “as your governor I came here as soon as I heard about the fire incident. I am here because your concern is my concern.

“So, we thank God that no life was lost to the unfortunate incident. As government, we are going to resettle you before January 3, 2019.”

The Chief Fire Officer, Enugu State Fire Service, Mr. Oha Okwudili, who spoke with Daily Sun at the scene of the incident said they received a distress call at about 9:30am.

He said: “Quickly I dispatched my men to the scene; unfortunately our first responder truck had an accident and fell down before it got there, so I had to re-mobilise another team that arrived the scene with five fire fighters and one water tanker and by the special grace of God, we were able to put the fire off.

“If not because of the misfortune our first responder vehicle, which supposed to have attacked the fire under 10 minutes had on the road, this fire would not have spread to other areas,” he explained.

On the actual cause of the fire, Oha said investigation has not been concluded, however, “preliminary investigation shows that a tanker carrying a cooking gas was discharging and probable there was a spark and the vehicle caught fire.

“So that is what we are getting on ground. Until after we have concluded our investigation, we cannot say this is the actual thing that caused the fire outbreak.”

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