201 residents of the Sharada Quarters in Kano sustained different degrees of injury and are now receiving treatment in hospitals, following a new gas explosion in the city on Thursday, the second in one month.
About 20 people were reported to have been initially injured by the explosion but the casualty figures ballooned to 201 after more and more residents inhaled harmful chemicals.
The explosion, which was originally feared to be ab terrorist attack on the Nigeria’s Northwest commercial nerve centre, Prime Business Africa gathered, occurred at a Kano factory.
A statement from Nigeria’s Presidency on Saturday said President Muhammadu Buhari was ”distressed by the tragic incident” describing it as ”extremely horrific.”
”Two hundred and one (201) residents of Sharada Quarters, Kano were hospitalized after inhaling chemicals from a cylinder dismantled by metal scrappers,” Buhari’s Senior Assistant on Media and Publicity Shehu Garba said in a statement on Saturday.
President Buhari said: “I am shocked and pained to hear about this tragic incident, so soon after the last gas explosion. Our brave emergency response agencies and medical workers are trying their best to save lives. We are in constant touch with the field workers and the hospitals.”
Garba said that the President commended the immediate response of the government of Kano State and the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.
”He also expressed appreciation to hospitals in the State, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMA) and the Nigerian Red Cross, for their support to the victims so far.
According to his media aide, Buhari ”wished all the injured a very quick recovery.”
Contrary to the official clarification, initial reports had hinted that the incident happened at about 8:00pm on Thursday, after a cylinder exploded at a Liquefied Natural Gas shop at the Sharada Quarters, Kumbotso Local Government Area of Kano State, which also led to the destruction of some other shops.
A fish seller was reported to have been frying fish near the gas refilling shop, thus triggering the explosion.
Public Relations Officer of the Kano State Fire Service, Saminu Yusuf, had confirmed the explosion on Thursday night.
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