The Justice Peter Isibor-led Administrative Panel of Inquiry on the February 4 Gas Explosion in Ugbor area, in Benin city, has visited the scene of the explosion, a gas station, on a fact-finding mission to unravel the cause of the fatal incident.
The Panel was set up by Governor Godwin Obaseki to investigate the immediate and remote causes of the fire incident and prevent a reoccurrence of the incident in future.
During the Panel’s visit to the gas station at Ugbor in Benin City, Managing Director of the Gas Plant, Idemudia Osagie, told members of the Panel that the management of the gas plant suspected that the fire started at the generator house and spread to other facilities within the premises.
Osagie said, “The gas station received supply of gas on Saturday, a day before the incident. The truck, which delivered the product could not leave the plant until Sunday, which is a non-working day at the plant. It was on that fateful day that the explosion occurred.”
He admitted that there was no fire hydrant at the plant when the explosion occurred.
Recall that the gas explosion led to the death of three persons, while one person who suffered burn injuries was hospitalised.
Members of the Panel also examined relics from the explosion, which littered the premises of the gas station.
Chairman of the Panel, Hon. Justice Peter Isibor said, “The visit to the scene of the explosion is to enable the Panel collect first-hand information relating to the incident and ascertain the extent of damage.”
Members of the Panel also visited a victim of the explosion, Michael Adeleye at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH).
Adeleye, a staff at the gas station, told members of the Panel that the explosion killed the manager of the gas station and two other staff.
Hon. Isibor said Adeleye’s testimony was expedient considering that he was an eyewitness to the explosion, noting that it will assist the Panel in its investigations.
Members of the Administrative Panel also visited gas stations in Benin City to monitor compliance with safety measures guiding sales of gas in the state.