The Lagos State Government on Friday warned business owners against violating safety protocols guiding the citing of businesses in residential areas as they would be prosecuted if caught.
The Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, gave the warning during an on-the-spot assessment of the gas explosion site in Baruwa area of Ipaja, Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that a Liquefied Petroleum Gas plant located along densely populated Candos Road, Baruwa, Ipaja-Ayobo area of Lagos suddenly exploded in the early hours of Thursday killing five persons.
Also, several persons were injured, while properties worth millions of naira were destroyed.
The Director-General, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, attributed the incident to carelessness on the part of the operators.
Oke-Osanyintolu said 25 buildings were damaged during the explosion, out of which 10 were severely affected.
According to him, 16 shops, a private school building and a hotel were razed, while a Pentecostal Church was mildly affected.
The deputy governor said that the government would not tolerate any form of carelessness on the part of business owners that could jeopardise the health and safety of the people.
Hamzat said it was okay to have a business but not at the risk of people’s lives.
He said: “We are not saying people should not do business, but not at the detriment of others.
“Any business owner caught flouting safety protocols across the state will face the wrath of the law.”
He stressed the need for people to be responsible, adding that whoever went against laid down rules for business in the state would be prosecuted to the full extent of the law as deterrent to others.
The deputy governor said the utmost concern of the government now was how to support those in the hospitals due to injuries sustained in the explosion.
He gave the assurance that the government would leave no stone unturned in its effort to get to the root cause of the explosion.
Hamzat said: “It is a sad situation and we have to assist those in the hospital.
“Also, l commiserate with the families of the deceased and investigation will be carried out as to what led to the explosion.”
Hamzat advised Lagos residents not to build houses on right of way of pipelines, adding that people should give 40 metres space while erecting in areas where pipelines are located.
He charged citizens to get the right approval from government before erecting structures.