Two persons were confirmed dead and seven others injured as a petrol station located in Adigbe area of Abeokuta went up in flames on Thursday.
The station, Rabeng Petroleum, located opposite the popular Iya Sunday food canteen, was reported to have caught fire as a welder worked on a fuel tank beside a gas base in the premises.
The fire later spread to about six shops opposite the fuel station
A witness, Seun Ogunme, who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES at the scene, blamed the carelessness of the artisan for the outbreak that destroyed a Toyota pick-up van, two motorcycles, air-conditioners, five fuel pumping machines, office tables and fridges among other valuables.
Mr. Ogunme added that the victims were taken to a nearby hospital and later referred to the State Hospital, Sokenu, Abeokuta for emergency treatment. The remains of the dead had been deposited in the morgue at the time of this report.
The state fire service put the fire under control at the time our correspondent visited the scene, which had been put under surveillance by the Civil Defence Corps.
A trader who runs a business opposite the station, Omolola Salami, told our correspondent how she narrowly escaped death from the inferno.
“Immediately we heard the explosion, we abandoned our shops, but some were not that lucky as the fire caught them and burnt about six shops. A girl who was in a shop with her mother was badly burnt,” Ms. Salami narrated.
However, the state Commandant of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Akinwale Aboluwaye, said the fire incident was as a result of the negligence of the artisan.
“You can see the burnt generator of the artisan. He was said to be welding one of the pumping machines beside the gas base in the station when the gas attracted the generator and resulted in fire,” Mr. Aboluwaye noted.
He said he had deployed his officers to the station to prevent hoodlums from looting the station.