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Ibadan Explosion: Foreign Illegal Miners Ran Out Of House Before Explosion — Survivor

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survivor of the explosion that rocked Ibadan, Oyo State capital, yesterday, has said it was foreigners, who engaged in illegal mining activities, that caused the explosion. He added that they ran out just before the blast.

The survivor, Alhaji Mohammed Musa, lived next to the epicentre (ground zero) of the explosion.

Though the official announcement of the casualty figure is yet to be made, Vanguard gathered that three people died in the explosion.

UK returnee dead

Meanwhile, it has been revealed that one of the deceased is a United Kingdom, UK, returnee.

A viral video credits one Honourable Ayode Jajaye as stating that the UK returnee is the son of one of the landlords in the Ibadan estate where the explosion occurred.

He said: “Look at the guy that just died. He just came from the UK about a week ago. He’s a son to a landlord in this estate.

“My conclusion is that the government should investigate this situation. The casualties are too much. Look at damages. We can’t just look away.

“There are so many collateral damages that have happened.”

At the scene of the explosion yesterday, a body was brought out of the rubble and put in a body bag.

Earlier, the Oyo State Government had announced that two people died in the unfortunate incident. Also, a survivor who was seriously injured was wheeled into a waiting ambulance.

How I survived — Mohammed

Speaking with Vanguard at the scene, Mohammed said he was rushed to the hospital and discharged this morning.

He said he escaped death by the whiskers because he offered to help his neighbor put out the fire that preceded the explosion.

Recall that his claim that foreign illegal miners caused the explosion was earlier voiced by Governor Seyi Makinde.

Narrating the events that preceded the explosion, Mohammed said: “Around 7 p.m. last night (Tuesday), I was going to pray.

“As I was standing to start the prayer, I noticed some fire burning in the next house. So, I stopped the prayer and quickly picked my fire extinguisher.

“I told my boys that the neighbor’s house is on fire, let’s go and help.

“I then came downstairs. One guy saw me and said the fire was beyond what an extinguisher can put out. I then picked my phone to call the fire brigade men.

“However, the next thing I heard was that blast. It threw me off the ground and landed me on the stairs. Part of the house had cracked. My boys advised that I should jump.

“Fire started just a metre away from that house and as of the time we came downstairs, there was no one on the premises.”

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The foreigners

Also, speaking on the occupants of the house, he said: “The house where the fire started is occupied by a Senagalese or Namibian and they engage in mining activities.

Definitely, they had explosives inside the building. The explosion was as a result of the explosives kept in the building.

The foreigners have been living in here since 2013. They go in the morning and come back in the evening. I wouldn’t know if their immediate neighbour knows they are into mining.”

The foreigners ran out before the explosion.”

Furthermore, he clarified that immediately after the foreigners saw the raging fire, they knew the implications because of what they kept inside.

Mohammed said: “They, including their children, ran out of the house and they didn’t alert us so that we could run away too.

“They knew the implications when they saw the fire. So they ran out without alerting us. Thank God I came down trying to help put out the fire. I would have been dead by now.

“The whole house would have collapsed on me. I wanted to save the house of my neighbor from being burnt. That’s what saved me. If anyone had been in the house, the person would have gone.”

Asked if he knew his neighbors were illegal miners he said: “We have them all over. They are also at Orogun. That’s their trade and that’s what they came to Nigeria to do. And explosives are part of the things they use in blasting. Definitely, they had kept them in the house.”

Explosion caused by illegal miners — Governor Makinde

The Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, also attributed the explosion to explosive devices stored by illegal miners.

He added that two persons died in the explosion, which occurred at about 7:44 p.m. on January 16. He added that about 77 persons were injured.

Recall that at about 7.44 pm, Tuesday, January 16, a loud explosion was heard in different parts of the state capital leading to panic and confusion.

In a press release shared on his verified X page on Wednesday morning, Makinde explained that the preliminary investigations revealed that illegal miners stored explosive devices in one of the houses in Bodija.

He said: “We visited the scene of the explosion in Bodija, Ibadan. This unfortunate incident resulted in death and injury to residents in the vicinity and also affected properties.

“We have already deployed first responders and all relevant agencies within Oyo State to carry out comprehensive search and rescue operations. These operations will continue throughout the night.

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“Earth-moving equipment, ambulances, emergency lights, and security were deployed to the scene of the incident.

Welfare

“The wounded and injured are being treated and moved to public and private hospitals within Ibadan. Medical personnel are on standby at these hospitals to provide all needed assistance to the injured. We have visited UCH to see some of those injured during the incident.

“In total, we have 77 injured victims so far, most of whom were treated and discharged and two fatalities. May their souls rest in peace and may God give their loved ones the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss.”

“I have directed that the medical bills of all victims be covered by the government. We will also be providing temporary accommodation for those whose houses were affected.

“I urge all residents to please call 615 for any emergencies they may be experiencing at this time. They should remain calm and stay away from the immediate scene of the incident.”

… sets up emergency situation room

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, Mr Suleiman Olanrewaju, he noted that “the State Government has set up an Emergency Situation Room for the Bodija incident led by Professor Temitope Alonge.

“Search and rescue efforts at the site of the incident continued overnight. Updates from the Emergency Situation Room will be publicised through official government accounts and media channels.

“The contact numbers for the Situation Room are 07049948057 and 08147672009.

“Residents are advised to stay away from the site of the incident and call 615 free of charge for emergencies in Oyo State.”

Bola Ige’s residence affected

Meanwhile, the residence of the late Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Chief Bola Ige, was also affected by the Ibadan explosion.

His son, Architect Muyiwa Bola Ige spoke with Vanguard.

He said: “We thank God for life and for those who survived the unfortunate incident. The effect is that lives were lost.

“It affected my house we are just a few metres away from the epicenter and the gravity led to the damages we have here. We thank no life is lost here. The blast shattered the windows and roofs.

“Structurally, the building is intact. I have gone around to do the analysis.

“Yes, we are hearing that the explosion was caused by some illegal miners. That would be grossly unfortunate that someone could keep such dangerous things in the residential area. I have spoken to the leadership of this residents’ association to find out who the persons are.

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“Do they have the inclination of what their activities are? We should not jump the gun. But it is evident because there is a crater at the epicenter. It’s unacceptable.

“Glasses were blown out, roof surfaces caved in. If they knew what they had and they kept it in a residential area, then they are suicidal.

“We must identify who they are. If they are still alive. And some people have died based on the consequences of what they had done, they should be brought to book.”

He said he had to rush back home when a friend told him about the explosion. He noted that he came to rescue the grandchildren of someone close to him.

Meanwhile, there were fears that some unexploded bombs could still be at the place. Security officers were warning thousands of people at the scene to move away as staying there could be risky.

Schools shut down
Two private schools in the area were shut. Barakat and the Educational Advancement Centre were locked. Their students came to resume only to be sent back home by their teachers.

At the scene, there was gridlock as a result of the large crowds trooping to the scene of the explosion.

Also, security agents had a hectic time controlling the crowd that was bent on having a glimpse of the scene.

At the spot, rescue teams were working seriously in search victims under the rubble.

Meanwhile, Vanguard was reliably informed that several children of a popular school that is located at Idi Ishin were injured and taken to the hospital. They used the building opposite the epicenter as hostels.

The Deputy Governor of the state, Bayo Lawa, and Senator Sarafadeen Alli, representing Oyo South senatorial districts were early callers at the scene.

The Commissioner of Police in Oyo State, Mr Adebola Hamzat; soldiers; Red Cross; Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC; Department of State Services, DSS; fire brigade men, bomb detectors, National Emergency Agency, NEMA, were all on ground.


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  1. Pingback: Nine people still missing after Ibadan explosion, says resident association - Diaspora Digital Media DDM

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