The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has confirmed that five persons died during a gas explosion at Afaha Ukwa in Eket local government area of Akwa Ibom state.
Asuquo Antai, DPR’s operations controller in Eket, disclosed this on Thursday during an interview with NAN.
While eight persons were involved in the incident, which happened last week, five of them – three males and two females – were the ones who died.
Antai attributed the tragedy to carelessness, saying gas was being discharged from a big cylinder without safety measures.
The controller said the gas escaped into the air and got straight to a fire point where a lady was operating a restaurant.
“A week ago, we had a fatal case of gas explosion in which five people lost their lives,” he said.
“It was just a pole from where the cylinder was being filled, and the fire got to where gas was being discharged.
“The tank exploded and the people at the restaurant were affected. Same as those by the tank.”
Antai said sensitisation talk would be organised for all gas retail outlets, in order to empower people on how to operate gas and minimise risks associated with it.
He said this was with a view to preventing similar incidents in the future.
Antai held that most gas retail outlets were yet to register in the state, saying that the agency would no longer allow them to operate without license.