Several persons were feared killed and dozens others hospitalised on Tuesday at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, Oyo State, following an explosion that rocked the Ibadan metropolis.
Among the affected areas were a section of the Governor’s Office, Secretariat, Oyo State House of Assembly, the residence of the former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Chief Bola Ige, some buildings at Ologuneru, Apete, New Garage, Bashorun, Akobo, Sango and Eleyele.
Our source at the scene of the explosion that occurred at Adeyi Avenue, Bodija Estate, Ibadan, Oyo State capital on Tuesday, reported that dozens of bodies were recovered from the site and taken away in ambulances.
As of press time, rescue workers believed that some persons were still trapped under the rubble and efforts were ongoing to rescue them.
A social worker at UCH, who did not want his name in print because he had no authority to speak on the matter, told one of our correspondents that the hospital had received no fewer than 15 victims.
“The victims will not be less than 15,” he said.
Glass windows, doors and ceilings were shattered in the affected areas.
Major roads were deserted while residents were forced indoors by security operatives, including the police, Western Security Network, code-named Amotekun, and local vigilantes, who took over the affected areas.
In a statement, the state government, through the Commissioner for Information, Dotun Oyelade, confirmed the explosion.
He said, “There are various interpretations of the incident but it is important for us to state categorically that the state government has taken over and is in full control of the unfortunate occurrence in order to mitigate the incident.
“All security service chiefs, including paramilitary chiefs and fire service operatives, have been deployed by the governor to reign in the spillover from the explosion.
“The Governor, Seyi Makinde, therefore, implores citizens to calm down and rest assured that their interests are being looked after.”
Also, on its verified X handle, the Oyo State Government urged residents to remain calm, noting that an investigation was underway to unravel the cause of the explosion.
“The Oyo State Government is aware of reports of an explosion in Ibadan. Residents are urged to remain calm as security agencies are investigating this to determine the source and cause of the incident,” the X post read.
The police spokesman, Adewale Oyefeso, said the explosion happened around Dejo Oyelese Street Bodija Ibadan around 7:44 pm.
He said the cause of the explosion was unknown, and no casualty could be confirmed as the search continued on Tuesday night.
“The Commissioner of Police Oyo State Command, in the company with some senior officers and other responders, is on the ground for on-the-spot assessment and rescue operation.
“The Oyo State Police Command has also deployed armed and plainclothes officers to forestall any breakdown of law and order,” the police spokesman said. site of the blast in Ibadan, confirmed the incident to one of our correspondents on Tuesday night.