Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Sand dredger killed, policeman injured in Lagos explosion



A victim who sustained a serious injury in the explosion
A sand dredger, Oladele Pius, was killed on Monday after an explosion under the FESTAC Link Bridge in Amuwo Odofin Local Government, Lagos State.
A police inspector, Akin Sunday, also sustained a serious injury in the explosion that caused panic in the area.
PUNCH Metro learnt that Pius, who was the branch Chairman of Sand Dredgers in the area, was torn apart.
According to eyewitnesses, rescue workers found it difficult to carry Pius’ remains and had to use shovels to pack them in different body bags.
They (eyewitness) said the inspector’s legs were shattered, while his eyes and hands were affected by the explosion.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the explosion which occurred at about 12pm, caused panic because many of the residents and passersby had speculated that the explosion might have been as a result of terrorists’ activities. They reportedly fled the area.
An eyewitness, who claimed to be the deceased’s colleague, said he (deceased) resumed work in the morning under the bridge, and having parked his vehicle, made for his duty post.
The eyewitness said some moments later, the deceased received a telephone call following which he drove out.
He said the deceased returned accompanied by a policeman and then called one of his workers to buy a local gin which he shared with the policeman
He said the policeman was leaving the area when the explosion occurred, killing Oladele on the spot and seriously injuring the policeman who had moved a few steps away before the device, connected with dry cell batteries and wires, detonated.
Dogo, one of the deceased’s workers, described him as a kind-hearted man, adding that he was survived by five children and two wives.
The policeman was however rushed to a nearby hospital
It could not be ascertained who planted the explosive, but the police denied that it was a bomb.
Commissioner of Police for the state Police Command, Umar Manko, said full investigation had commenced to unravel the cause of the explosion.
 Manko however said preliminary investigation revealed that the explosion was caused by an electrical fault.
While briefing journalists at the state command headquarters on Monday, Manko urged residents not to panic but continue with their lawful businesses, assuring them that the police were committed to safety of lives and property in the state.
He said, “Contrary to people’s fear that it was a bomb blast, it was a mere electrical fault at the Amuwo Odofin Bridge. Anti-bomb experts have been called in to assess the situation and I will be adequately briefed later.
“From the investigation so far, it has been revealed that it was neither a terrorist attack nor an act of Boko Haram. It was also not a bomb blast.
“It is not a question of letter bomb. This is not an incident that will attract fear. The state is not under any attack from anywhere.”
The scene of the explosion had, however, been cordoned off by the Bomb Disposal Unit of the Nigeria Police and officials of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency.

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