The death toll from the gas explosion on Monday at Monaco gas station in Nasarawa has risen to nine.
Governor Umaru Al-Makura confirmed the figures on Tuesday when he visited the scene of the incident to assess the level of damage.
Al-Makura, who described the incident as “unfortunate” condoled the families of those who lost their lives, and assured that government would do its best to ensure that the survivors of the fire outbreak get the best medical attention.
“Last night, I got a report that six people died as a result of the burns sustained from the incident, but this morning, I was told that three more people had been confirmed dead.
“We were able to transfer 17 victims, who had over 60 per cent burns out of the 37 persons affected to the National Trauma Centre in Abuja, but three among them later died.
“Shortly before I arrived here, another child died while being removed from a pregnant mother, who also suffered severe burns.
“So, at the moment, we have recorded nine deaths as against the large figures being speculated in the media,” Al-Makura said.
He said the remaining 14 casualties currently at the National Trauma Centre were responding to treatment.
“I have directed that all the victims be given the best treatment available and for those in critical condition, requiring to be moved abroad, the Nasarawa State Government will take care of their bills just to ensure they live,” he assured.
The governor called on residents of the state to obtain proper approval before situating their structures anywhere in the state in order to avert a repeat of such occurrence.
“I have called for a meeting with the committee on development control for us to review approvals for situaing all businesses that pose danger to the people, especially gas stations.
“We have agreed that existing stations must comply with the safe distance specifications,” he said.
He also said that he had directed the state fire service to cordon-off the area for the next seven days to ensure that it is totally safe for habitation.
“We discovered that gas was still leaking from the tanks and we are making contact with the Department of Petroleum Resources and other agencies with the necessary equipment to assist in evacuating gas from the area,” Al-Makura added.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that Monaco gas station in Lafia was on Monday morning engulfed by fire when a tanker offloading the liquified gas suddenly went ablaze.
Mr Dogara Dalhatu, the Chief Fire Officer of the Nasarawa State Fire Service, who confirmed the incident attributed it to a spark around the vicinity where the gas was being discharged.
Dalhatu, however, said the inferno has been put under control by men of the fire service.
He said that about 10 vehicles, five motorcycles and three tricycles were destroyed by the fire.