Scavengers take over Lagos gas explosion site

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Men at work

By Anayo Ezugwu

TWO days after the Lagos gas explosion at the Ishaga-Ajuwon area, the ruins in the site, replete with at least 10 burnt vehicles, 23 damaged houses, and a market, has turned business opportunities for metal scavengers. When Realnews arrived at the scene of the gas explosion on Saturday, September 26, the earlier gloomy environment occasioned by the tragedy had become a business zone for scavengers.

The stakeholders in this enterprise included the officials of the Ifako Ijaiye local government area of Lagos State, in their apron jackets, community leaders of the area, and scavengers, who came with their hammers and chisels. They were seen negotiating sales of completely burnt vehicles. And once the deal was struck, the scavengers descended on the wreckage with their hammers and chisels. The remains of the vehicle would be chopped off and tucked into tiny bits, and loaded into a sack.

Men at work

It was a tragic irony that a car which few minutes before the blast had a market value of about N1.2 million is tucked into a sack with no more than N30,000 worth.  At the scene of the accident, one fellow was almost mobbed for attempting to steal a sack full of such wreckage by the officials of the local government, community leaders and the scavengers themselves.

The scrap metal industry is a big business for scavengers. They pound the street in search of metallic scraps, which they would sell to collectors who in turn would resell them to smelting mill to be reused in the manufacturing of home appliances and some other stuff.

At the time Realnews reporter was leaving the scene, the truck that caused the gas explosion was being negotiated by the crowd. Curiously, none of them was identified as the owner. Unfortunately, the owner of the burnt truck was not even aware that his damaged truck was up for sale.

Realnews recalled that the Lagos gas explosion occurred on Thursday, September 24, killing at least 3 people, according to Lagos State officials. On what caused the accident, a number of the residents rendered similar accounts of the incident.

Scene of the incident

According to them, a tanker laden with gas was supplied to a gas plant and the owner of the gas plant rejected the supply on the ground that the weight was below the expected weight. Consequently, the truck driver drove out of the gas yard in anger and the truck fell into a ditch. The explosion that followed affected many buildings in the area. The impact of the blast also affected a plantain plantation nearby, while electric cables and poles were not spared, leaving the area without electricity.

– Sept. 28, 2020 @ 17:35 GMT |

 

An event centre destroyed by the fire
Plantation of plantain destroyed by the fire
Some of the vehicles destroyed by the explosion

 

The gas plant sealed by Lagos State
A scarvenger being asked to pay toll by community leaders

 

The truck that caused the fire
A notice by the state govt closing the plant for violating planning guidelines

 

 

 

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