Nigerian state closes 119 illegal gas outlets after explosion

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People watch the smoke billowing from an oil pipeline fire that left two people dead and over 30 vehicles burnt at Ijegun in Lagos, on July 4, 2019. - Two people were killed and over 30 vehicles burnt on July 4 after thieves breached a fuel pipeline in Lagos, Nigeria's commercial hub, causing an explosion, emergency services said. The incident, which happened in the early hours in the Ijegun area, is the latest in a long string of such accidents. (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP) (Photo credit should read PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP via Getty Images)
FILE PHOTO: People watch the smoke billowing from an oil pipeline fire that left two people dead and over 30 vehicles burnt at Ijegun in Lagos, Nigeria. (Photo credit PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP via Getty Images)

At least 119 illegal gas outlets have been shut down in Kaduna, northern Nigeria following a gas explosion early this month which claimed lives, an official said on Thursday.

The closure was in line with the state governor’s directive, following a gas explosion on January 4 in which eight people died and four were injured in the state, Jibrin Lawal, head of the Kaduna Environmental Protection Authority (KEPA) said.

Governor of Kaduna state Nasir El-Rufai on January 7 ordered the closure of all illegal gas retail outlets located in residential areas across the state with immediate effect.

The directive came three days after an explosion occurred at an illegal gas retail shop in Sabon Tasha area of Chikun local government.

Lawal said gas refilling was a high risk-activity that should not be allowed to operate in residential areas.

According to him, a total of 77 licensed gas re-fill station operators were sealed until safety measures are met while 42 unlicensed were sealed as regulatory measures to avert danger.

He said the agency would continue to inspect gas facilities to ensure that they comply with Standard Operating Procedures(SOP).

According to him, the agency was working on providing industrial sites across the state to relocate gas refiling outlets from residential areas.

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