The Lagos State Emergency Management Agency has revealed that investigations are underway to identify those responsible for the recent gas explosion at the National Arts Theatre. Additionally, two individuals, yet to be identified, have been arrested on suspicion of vandalizing the Ago pipeline in the Ile-Epo area of Agbado-Oke-Odo in the state.
The Head, Public Affairs Unit of LASEMA, Nosa Okunbor, made this known in a statement made available to PUNCH Metro on Tuesday.
Okunbor while quoting the Permanent Secretary of LASEMA, Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, condemned the storing of gas cylinders in houses occupied by Lagos residents which may result in explosion.
PUNCH Metro reports that at least four cows, three goats and an office building belonging to the National Council of Arts and Culture were lost to the late-night Saturday fire that gutted the National Arts Theatre, Iganmu.
It was gathered that the fire started when about four 50kgs of gas cylinder stored in one of the offices in the building belonging to the National Council of Arts and Culture located opposite the artists’ village, exploded but was quickly contained by Lagos firefighters.
The statement read in part, “The Permanent Secretary of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, Dr Olufemi Damilola Oke-Osanyintolu, has warned those storing gas cylinders indiscriminately without following safety rules and regulations to desist or face sanctions.
“Dr. Oke-Osanyintolu handed down the warning during an assessment visit to the scene of the gas cylinders explosion at the Artists village within the National Theatre complex in Iganmu, Lagos while assuring the people that the Lagos State Safety Commission and other relevant stakeholders would unravel the root cause of the gas cylinder explosions and bring anyone found wanting to book.
“In the same vein, the LASEMA P.S. also visited the site of the petroleum pipeline vandalisation at Ile-Epo in Agbado-Oke-Odo area of Lagos and renewed his appeal to residents to be safety conscious at all times.
“While noting that two suspected vandals have been apprehended and handed over to the appropriate authorities, Oke-Osanyintolu warned against illegitimate activities that could claim the lives and property of Lagos residents.”
Okunbor also noted that Oke-Osanyintolu assured residents of the area where pipeline vandalism was recorded not to panic as stakeholders were making efforts to ensure that the pipelines and the environment are safer and inaccessible to vandals.
“Going forward, the Executive Vice President, NNPC Downstream has assured that the NNPC had plans to bury pipelines deeper to make them virtually impossible to access by vandals, just as residents in such communities would be actively be involved in securing the pipelines.”