By Benjamin Omoike
At least seven people were injured on Wednesday, with three severely wounded and hospitalised as a result of explosion at the 4POINT hotel by Sheraton in Oniru, on Lagos Island.
The explosion, according to investigations of the LASEMA Response Team, resulted from a gas cylinder which exploded within the vicinity of the hotel.
It was further revealed that the gas cylinder was in use by welders working within the yard of the hotel premises, and that the explosion was due to a leakage of one of the gas cylinder’s hose pipes.
Three people sustained severe injuries as a result of the blast and two has been rushed to Lagos Island General hospital for intensive care by LASEMA AMBULANCE UNIT, while one was taken to a nearby private hospital.
According to the LASEMA Response Team at the incident site, another four people were also injured due to secondary incident caused by flying objects that injured the victims who were not among the primary victims of the defective welding equipment.
Reports had it that when welders attempted putting finishing touches to the last two pipes needed to complete the borehole project in the hotel premises, there was a blowback when the welding equipment was restarted, leading to a burst pipe and eventual explosion of the welder’s gas cylinder and the subsequent disaster that followed.
Aside shattered hotel room windows, damaged walls and other yet to be detected physical damages to the structure of the hotel as a result of shrapnel due to the blast, 10 cars were destroyed by effects of the explosion and flying objects.
More over, results from the initial assessment by LASEMA has shown that the Hotel’s emergency response plan is flawed with no visible emergency muster point.
Speaking on this incident, the DG/CEO LASEMA, Dr. Olufemi Oke–Osanyintolu has appealed to all Lagos residents that they should remain calm and collected, that the Agency is looking at the situation holistically, with a scientific approach to ensuring that there’s no more gas explosions in Lagos State again.
Oke–Osanyintolu went on to elaborate that the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu led administration is people-centric with the best interest of Lagosians at heart, and has put all necessary structures in place to mitigate against disasters in the state.
The DG went to say that LASEMA was on top of the situation, and has alerted all it’s relevant sister agencies to the situation at the 4POINT Hotel at Oniru and Lagos in general.
According to the DG, the Lagos State Material Testing Laboratory has been duly informed of the development and will conduct stability/non destructive tests to ascertain the status of the hotel, it’s beams and columns.
However, LASEMA has effectively brought the situation under control with the combined efforts of Officers of the Nigerian Police Force,
Police EOD, LASG and LASEMA Fire Units, with ample assistance from staff of the hotel in ensuring a swift recovery.
In compliance with international best practices in emergency situations, the entrance of the building and the entire area surrounding the incident point, has been cordoned off, the Agency has notified other relevant Agencies of the incident while waiting to conduct necessary post disaster assessment.
While response teams from two units are returning back to base, one LASEMA Unit has been mandated to remain at the incident site to forestall any secondary incident as the Hotel remained sealed at the ongoing operation.