Many people were believed to have been killed and more injured after twin explosions rocked the Creek Road area of Liverpool, Apapa, Lagos State on Wednesday night.
The explosions occurred between 8:30pm and 9pm, within 10 minutes interval.
Nobody could confirm the number of people that died or got injured, but a policeman, attached to the Lagos State Monitoring Unit of the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency, said: “Many people were injured.”
A tanker owner, who simply identified himself as Henric, said: “Anybody who told you anything different from the fact that a bomb was inside the Sienna car is lying to you.
“It was a bomb explosion!
“The buildings in this area shook to their very foundations.
“Take a walk around the street and see all the buildings affected, yet the blast happened quite few metres away from them.
“I personally counted four corpses.
“The woman who used to sell amala to us died in front of the Enterprise Bank.
“A security guard attached to the bank died instantly.
“My tanker driver, who was even far from the Sienna car, was affected.
“His intestines gushed out.
“He’s right now in the hospital.
“Instead of denying the bomb explosion, security agents should try to forestall another explosion.
“Believe me, from what I have seen, there would be another attempt.
“Whoever came with that bomb, knew that this area is where gas and fuel companies are many.”
Another person revealed that aside from the security guard in the Enterprise Bank, two other persons from the bank were severely injured and presently fighting to stay alive in the hospital and that it could only be compared to attacks by dreaded sect, Boko Haram.
The first explosion happened at Folawiyo Energy Company Limited.
The company is a tank farm, where fuel is discharged and later distributed.
The second explosion, which was from a Toyota Sienna car, occurred a few minutes walking distance from the Folawiyo Company, right on the expressway and next to a tanker suspected to be filled with gas.
Indeed, the Sienna car was boxed in between the gas tanker and Enterprise Bank Limited.
The second explosion actually led to the death and injury of many of the victims, but nobody could ascertain the number of people killed or injured in the Folawiyo premises where the incident occurred, if there was any.
Police spokesperson in Lagos State, Ngozi Braide, who was on ground at both scenes, revealed that Folawiyo’s staff told her that a tanker laden with fuel exploded inside their premises.
Braide added: “But their fire and safety department controlled it.”
She said that the staff also showed her the tanker in question.
She however could not explain what caused the second explosion.
According to her: “I don’t know or think that both explosions are related, but only an investigation will reveal that. Already, our bomb squad had collected specimen they need for investigation.”
The explosions affected most of the companies in the area and many of the companies were shut down on Thursday.
It was gathered that more people would have been killed and injured, if the explosions had occurred during working hours.
Although the incident grounded commercial activities at the area, most of the people sighted loitering around were tanker drivers.
Many of them shied away from journalists.
An eyewitness, who refused to give his name, said he is a tanker driver, explaining: “The Sienna car was parked right in the middle of the road. Its traffic light was on, but nobody was inside. We heard explosion in that tank farm over there. And about 10 minutes later, the Sienna car exploded.”
Many of the tanker drivers gathered in group, discussing the explosions.
One of them said: “We believe the target was that gas tanker, parked across the road. The bomber parked the Sienna car, close to the gas tanker. If the gas tanker had exploded, the whole of Creek Road would have gone up in flame. Most of the companies you see here are fuel depots and gas companies. But the gas tanker in question was a foreign one, which is full-proof of fire.”
A man, who works with a clearing and forwarding company, who identified himself as Emeka, said: “I really don’t know what happened. But we heard there was a bomb explosion. We also heard that it was a gas explosion. But we know that it was not a tanker explosion as some claimed yesterday.”
Some of the people on ground at the scene on Thursday morning said the behaviour of the staff of Folawiyo’s company was suspect.
They disallowed the Police Anti-Bomb Squad from gaining access into the company to inspect the site of the first explosion.
They also disallowed officials of the National Emergency Management Agency and those of the National Oil Spill Detection, invited by NEMA to investigate if the cause of the explosion in the company was due to spillage.
NEMA’s Public Information officer, Ibrahim Farinloye, said: “It’s no longer NEMA’s job now, but police because it has become a matter that has to do with investigation. Except an investigation is carried out, there’s nothing we can say.”
When our correspondent reached the scene of the second blast, it was like a replica of the Ikeja Military Cantonment bomb blast of 2002, where many died and a lot more displaced.
Windows were shattered.
The second blast affected many companies on Creek Road, but the most affected was Enterprise Bank.
A pool of blood was inside its premises and at the front of the gate.
Mixed in the blood at the gate was a man’s wedding ring.
The bank’s windows and front doors were shattered.
A lone security stared across the road from the bank’s gate.
No staff came to work.
Fallen and quickly abandoned motorbike and slippers were also sighted.
Sobil House, a five storey building, was also affected.
All the windows on all the floors were shattered.
The story was the same with most of the buildings in the area.
Attempts made by journalists to enter Folawiyo’s Company was rebuffed at the gate by security guards, who claimed there was no explosion in the company.
Speaking with journalists after her and the Divisional Police Officer in charge of Apapa Police Station, Usman Ndanbabo, left Folawiyo’s premises, Braide said: “Bomb experts are around and are still trying to find out what happened. I may not be able to say what happened here now.”
Asked why Falowiyo disallowed the Bomb Squad from entering their premises, Braide said she had not asked, but believed it might be due to the company’s security measures.
She also said she did not know for a fact the number of people killed or injured.