Nine people lost their lives in Nigeria’s northern state of Kano after a gas cylinder exploded, collapsing a building that was near a popular market, said the national emergency service and eyewitnesses.
Sama’ila Shu’aibu Dikko, Kano’s Police Commissioner, earlier said that the explosion was due to a gas cylinder that went off near a private school and market area in the Sabon Gari area of Kano.
Dikko stated, “It was a gas explosion. There was a welder around the region, and his gas cylinder blasted just very close to a private school. We have rescued four casualties, including the welder and a woman. No children were affected.”
Meanwhile, eyewitnesses said that they saw a suicide bomber set off a bomb at the blast scene. Unverified videos of the explosion being circulated on Tuesday, May 17, on social media also show some students in blood-filled uniforms being carried away from the explosion scene.
The local police chief said an unspecified number of people were injured but did not give further explanation on the circumstances that led to the explosion.
Kano’s Information Commissioner, Mohammed Garba, also said that the blast hit no infrastructure of the children’s school.
Kano police chief, Dikko, has urged that the incident took place due to a gas cylinder explosion while defining the reports of a suicide bomber as “mischievous information”.
“There is no coverup. We were at the site with our experts. We retrieved a lot of chemicals inside the welding workshop. It was a gas cylinder blast,” the police commissioner stated.
However, Human rights lawyer, Chidi Odinkalu, argued that there had not been sufficient time for management to specify the cause of the explosion and that there was no proper laboratory facility in the state to carry out the analysis just a few hours after the blast.