Two people have been confirmed dead and 77 others injured in the explosion that occurred in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, on Tuesday evening.
The Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, who visited the scene of the explosion, confirmed the casualties.
He also said the explosion occurred at Adeyi Avenue, Bodija, although it was heard and felt in many parts of the city.
Mr Makinde said preliminary investigations by security agencies revealed that the blast was caused by illegal miners occupying one of the houses in Bodija.
‘‘Preliminary investigations by the security agencies revealed that illegal miners occupying one of the houses in Bodija had stored explosive devices there which caused the blast. The investigations are ongoing. All those found culpable for this will be brought to book,” he said.
The governor also disclosed that he directed that the medical bills of all victims of the explosion be covered by the government with a temporary accommodation provided for those whose houses were affected by the explosion.
Many houses were damaged in the explosion, some several kilometers from where the explosion occurred.
‘‘We visited the scene of the explosion which occurred at about 7.44 pm yesterday, 16 January 2024 in Bodija, Ibadan. This unfortunate incident resulted in death and injury to residents in the vicinity and also affected properties,” Mr Makinde said late on Tuesday. “We have already deployed first responders and all relevant agencies within Oyo State to carry out comprehensive search and rescue operations. These operations will continue throughout the night.
‘‘Earth moving equipment, ambulances, emergency lights, and security were deployed to the scene of the incident. The wounded and injured are being treated and moved to public and private hospitals within Ibadan. Medical personnel are on standby at these hospitals to provide all needed assistance to the injured. We have visited UCH to see some of those injured during the incident.
‘‘In total, we have 77 injured victims so far, most of whom were treated and discharged and two fatalities. May their souls rest in peace and may God give their loved ones the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss.
‘‘I have directed that the medical bills of all victims be covered by the government. We will also be providing temporary accommodation for those whose houses were affected and ensuring that they are supported to rebuild their lives.”
The Oyo governor urged residents to “call 615 for any emergencies they may be experiencing at this time and to remain calm and stay away from the immediate scene of the incident to allow rescue operations to be carried out without interference.”
‘‘We are grateful to the first responders, security personnel and all those who are at the scene to assist with the rescue operations as well as the medical personnel taking care of the injured.Please say a prayer for those who have been affected by this disaster as we continue with the rescue operations,” he said.