Gas explosion: 24-year-old didn’t deserve gruesome death - Eyewitnesses

“Sodiq is one of the boys that sell gas here; he is a very good boy..."
Gas explosion: 24-year-old didn’t deserve gruesome death - Eyewitnesses
Scene of the gas explosion in Mushin, LagosWuzupNigeria|Funmi Ayanwusi

“Ha! Ha! Sodiq should not have died in this gruesome manner,” Mummy Temi, a local herbal concoction seller said as she wept, mourning a 24-year-old gas retailer who lost his life at the recent gas explosion at Ladipo Market.

The gas explosion occurred on Tuesday morning on Ojekunle Street in the Ladipo Area of Mushin, Lagos State.

It was gathered that the explosion occurred while Sodiq was filling an acetylene cylinder while someone else was making a telephone call around the vicinity and another, Mama Emma, was frying pastries.

These factors were said to have led to the explosion.

Taiwo Abiodun, a mechanic at No 29, Ojekunle, Ladipo, with teary eyes, narrated the incident to The PUNCH.

He said, “Sodiq is one of the boys that sell gas here; he is a very good boy. At 8 am, there was an explosion in our area; someone was making calls while another person was trying to transfer gas from one cylinder to another.

"More so, there was a leakage in one of the cylinders. Coincidentally, there is a woman that fries pastries around that area, Mama Emma, who was going about her daily business. Due to these factors, the gas exploded. Many people died due to this incident.

“Although the authorities stated that five people died, the number of bodies I saw being evacuated is about six people. There is Sodiq, the woman who was frying her pastries, there are about three Hausa men and a boy who was an apprentice to a mechanic at the scene of the incident, his name was Farouq.

"I know that six people died and about eight people were injured but they were immediately rushed to the hospital. He was a very lovely fellow and did not deserve to die this way.”

Mummy Temi, who had known the deceased for years, stated that she was still in shock over the incident. The elderly lady noted that the young Sodiq was full of love.

She said, “Sodiq was selling gas for one of his customers when tragedy struck. I am not related to him but he is a very good boy. He is a young boy and should be about 24-years-old. They do not sleep here but he came early today to sell gas for his customer.

“I cannot believe that Sodiq is dead, not in this way. He was still a young boy, a very lanky guy. He was someone that everyone loved because of his wonderful nature. I sell local herbs and if he does not see me, he would always come to my shop to check on me. He was such a nice young man.

“I used to sell my herbal concoction at this place that the blast occurred before I left the spot for another place about three years ago. At the time, I was very close with Sodiq. When I was selling my herbs here, I always get to my shop at 6 am.

“He did not deserve to die this way. I learnt that all that was left of his body was put in a polythene bag. I was on a motorcycle when I was informed of the incident. Sadly, the young man is not from Lagos; he came here from the village, but his family has been informed.

“Most of the mechanics on site are helping the rescue service because of Sodiq because they want to ensure that his remains are found. Sodiq’s mother requested that the remains of his body be brought to, Ijebu Ode for burial.”

Also, the deceased's uncle, Adebayo Samsudeen Bello, was on the scene of the incident frantically searching for his nephew.

In a chat with our correspondent, he said, “Sodiq’s mother is my sister. He was a very wonderful boy. We are related to the owner of this business. He lived with his boss and they have been working together for over two years. He left home, Ijebu Ode, about two years ago.

“Immediately his mother called me, I left Ijebu; I got here about 10 am. His mother sent me to confirm if her son is okay after she heard the news. He had about four siblings.”

Speaking on the incident, the Commissioner of Lagos State police, Hakeem Odumosu, cautioned residents of the state to avoid operating electronic devices around gas cylinders.

He said, “Whenever you are with your phone, avoid taking it to the kitchen or anywhere there is gas. Even when you are at the filling station, ensure that you do not use your phone. This was caused because the person was filling a gas cylinder and was making a call. You know this is scientific and that is what happened.

“We have been told so far that five people lost their lives — four adults and one infant. Among the adults, there are three male adults and one female. The infant was initially rescued alive, but by the time the infant arrived for medical assistance, the life was out. The disaster is much, unfortunately, the person that could have told us what really happened has lost his life.”

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