As death toll rises to 9
By Mustapha Adamu, Kano and Mashe Umaru Gwamna
No fewer than nine dead bodies have been recovered from the site of the explosion that rocked the ancient city of Kano yesterday morning.
Several persons also sustained various degrees of injury and are said to be receiving medical attention in different hospitals.
The incident occured at Aba/Court road, Sabon Gari area of Fagge Local Government Area.
An eyewitness, who lives in the street where the explosion occurred, said the blast happened at about 8:0am when they heard a thunderous blast at a bit far from where they were sitting.
According to him, immediately after the sound went off, the building near a Primary/Nursery schools, collapsed sending thick smoke and dust all over the air.
“When I came closer, i saw three dead bodies, one of them a woman while the remaining two were men.
“As you are here, you can see human flesh littering the road,” he said.
The eyewitness who pleaded not to be named added that there must be people trapped under the rubbles as the building collapsed, adding that the powerful sound of the blast was what caused the building to collapse.
Another eyewitness who also spoke on condition of anonymity said he heard the sound of the explosion from a far place and when he arrived at the scene, he saw rescue personnel evacuating corpses from under the building.
He said four dead persons were removed from the rubbles, adding that “i believe many more are trapped inside.”
Corpses and human flesh were seen littering the street, as rescue personnel were busy evacuating the bodies and rushing the injured to hospital.
The State Police Commissioner, Sama’ila Shu’aibu Dikko, confirmed the incident, saying it was a gas explosion at a wielding workshop.
“The workshop uses a gas cylinder, which exploded and affected an old building of a school, that collapsed on people.
“Four persons have died and rescue mission is ongoing to find out more that may be trapped under the rubbles.
“Let me confirm to you that it is a gas explosion. It is not a bomb blast as widely speculated,” the Commissioner said.
Also, the state government had earlier confirmed the explosion, saying that it did not occur at the schools as widely speculated.
The state commissioner for information, Malam Muhammad Garba Said the incident happened at an animal feeds store opposite the school along Aba road, Sabon Gari area of Fagge Local Government.
He said, while the causes of the explosion is yet to be officially ascertained, investigation had since commenced to determine the cause, impact and measures to be taken.
Malam Garba called the people in the state, especially those living in the area to remain calm and law abiding, while government, in collaboration with relevant agencies, are working on the matter.
The Commissioner assured that the government would keep public abreast on any development and warned people to desisit from spreading unsubstantiated news.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has said that it has so far recovered nine dead bodies from the rubbles of a collapsed building beside a primary school following explosions from a gas cylinder at Aba Road, Sabon Gari Area of Kano State.
This was contained in statement signed and Issued by the Head,Media Unit NEMA, Manzo Ezekiel yesterday.
It indicated that the Director-General of NEMA, Habib Ahmed was at the site of the incident and coordinated the rescue operations.
According to the statement, the DG mobilized excavators being used for the rescue operations, assuring that, NEMA’s team will ensure the complete removal of the rubbles to retrieve all trapped persons.
The DG also instructed the NEMA rescue team to remain at the site until the conclusion of the rescue and to work together with security agencies and other response organisations present at the location.
He said, “NEMA is presently coordinating the rescue operations involving members Nigerian Red Cross, military, the Nigerian Police, Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps, Kano SEMA.”
Meanwhile, the nine dead bodies recovered from the collapsed building in Kano after the explosion from a gas cylinder were said to have been deposited in the morgue at Armed Forces Hospital, Kano. 3 of the bodies are beyond recognition.
Meanwhile, two persons injured by the explosion were taken for treatment at Airforce Hospital, Kano.