Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, disclosed on Tuesday that the explosion that rocked Ibadan metropolis was as a result of the activities of illegal miners occupying one of the buildings in the Bodija area of the state capital.
Recall newsmen had earlier published a series of reports about the explosion, which had caused panic among residents of Ibadan, affected areas surrounding the Bodija axis of the city, with several buildings damaged as a result of the impact.
Addressing journalists moments after having an onsite inspection of the explosion site, Makinde stated that the miners had stored explosive devices in the building, which caused the blast.
In a statement posted on his verified X (formerly Twitter) handle, the governor said the state government is providing temporary accommodation for those whose houses were affected as a result of the blast.
“We visited the scene of the explosion that 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.
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.” the statement partly reads.
He added “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 2 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.
“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.
“I urge all residents to please 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.” the governor concluded.