At least four people were killed and several were injured in a gas explosion that happened Tuesday morning in Nigeria’s northwestern Kano State, police have said.
Kano’s Police Commissioner, Sama’ila Shu’aibu Dikko told CNN that the explosion went off near a school in the Sabon Gari area of Kano.
“It was a gas explosion. There was a welder around the area and his gas cylinder exploded just very close to a private school… we have recovered four casualties, including the welder and a female. No child was affected,” Dikko told CNN from the scene of the blast.
The local police chief said an unknown number of people were injured but did not expand further on the circumstances that led to the explosion.
Kano’s Information Commissioner, Mohammed Garba, also told CNN that no infrastructure of the children’s school was hit by the blast.
“The explosion occurred around a shop where animal feeds are being sold. The explosion site is opposite a nursery and primary school…. no building of the school was affected.”
Unconfirmed videos of the blast circulating Tuesday on social media show some schoolchildren in bloodied uniforms being taken away from the scene of an explosion.
Garba added that the area had been cordoned off and firefighters were intensifying efforts to contain the flames in the aftermath of the blast.
The use of substandard cooking and welding gas cylinders, as well as direct exposure to flame in densely populated areas have led to previous explosions in the past.
A welding gas cylinder is a common sight in many makeshift welding stores in Nigeria due to its relevance to the craft.
In northwestern Ogun State, at least seven people were killed in different gas explosions that rocked the city last year. State officials blamed some of the explosions on welding gas while announcing a ban on its use.