A family of four and 11 others have been killed in the explosion which occurred on Sunday at Abule Ado, Trade Fair axis of Lagos, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has said.
More than 60 students of Bethlehem Girls College located within the area, who sustained various degrees of injuries in the incident, were also taken to the Nigerian Navy Hospital in Ojo Cantonment.
Acting Coordinator of NEMA in Lagos, Ibrahim Farinloye, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the family of four – a couple and their two sons – were caught by the explosion on their way to church.
Mr Farinloye said over 50 buildings, including Bethlehem Girls College and a popular hotel, were damaged in the explosion.
He said: “The resulting fire later spread to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) oil pipeline passing through the area even though the pipeline has been shut down as a precautionary measure.
“The fire was eventually extinguished about 3.30 pm through the combined efforts of officials of the Lagos State Fire Service, Federal Fire Service and Nigerian Navy Fire Tender.”
Also, Rear Admiral Oladele Daji, Staff Officer, Western Naval Command, told newsmen that the students were stabilised at the Navy Hospital, adding that those who have fully recovered would be discharged soon.
Mr Daji said although the cause of the incident was still unknown, some residents of the area told security operatives that there was a large number of industrial gas cylinders close to where the explosion occurred.
He said the Nigerian Navy in collaboration with other security agencies had begun clearing the pipeline right of way across Lagos, adding that the government should revoke the Certificate of Occupancy of houses sited very close to pipelines.
The Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), however, said 17 bodies were recovered while 25 casualties are being treated for injuries sustained in the explosion.