March 16 (UPI) — Authorities say a gas pipeline explosion in Nigeria has killed at least 17 people and destroyed more than 70 buildings, including schools, churches and hotels.
The explosion occurred Sunday in the Abule-Ado area, near the International Trade Fair Complex in Lagos. The cause is under investigation.
The blast happened in the pipeline near the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, officials said.
“The government must immediately do all that is necessary to avert a reoccurrence,” said Chief Solomon Ogbonna, president of the Ohaneze Ndigbo Lagos State. “I am calling on the Lagos state government to investigate this and not dismiss it as a mere gas explosion. The damage is huge.”
Students at the Bethlehem Girls College became trapped after the explosion. Rev. Henritta Alokha, principal of the institution, died while trying to rescue students.
Valentine Buraimoh, the chairman of Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area, said three schools were damaged in the explosion.
“Churches were also affected,” Buraimoh said. “We have been able to rescue some but more are still trapped in the buildings. … Our men are still on the ground trying to rescue as many as they can.”