The incident occurred at 32, Osazuwa Street, off Benin-Agbor Expressway in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area of Edo State. Among the deceased were two siblings, Favour Godwin, 11 and Odion Godwin, two.
Four families were affected by the explosion, which occurred on Sunday morning. It was learnt that a family knew fire had engulfed the building when it opened its door.
One of the victims, Ese Egharevba, whose husband and two children were affected, said she was outside when she heard the explosion. She said they found the cylinder and took it outside, while her husband warned neighbours not to strike any match or put on stove.
Ese said unknown to them, a family was cooking inside and when one of their children attempted to open the door, fire engulfed the building.
A teacher, Christian Unuame, said the owner of the cylinder does not live in the building.
According to him, the cylinder exploded about 7am. We took it outside and warned everybody not to put on fire. I went to the bathroom to take my bath and a few minutes later fire erupted.
“Nobody in the house uses gas to cook. It was somebody that kept the cylinder in my neighbour’s room. I’ve just finished my national service. I am teaching.”
Another victim, who simply identified himself as Bello, could only utter a few words.
The victims were admitted at Enoma Hospital. The mother of the siblings and her eldest daughter were reportedly referred to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital.
‘How I escaped death’
A survivor of a fire, which resulted from gas cylinder explosion, Juliet Chimobi, has said she escaped death because she refused to enter the house after the explosion.
Three persons were killed and 10 injured in the incident, which occurred about 7am on Sunday at 32, Osazuwa Street, off Benin-Agbor Expressway.
Two siblings, Favour Godwin, 11 and Odion Godwin, two, were among those who died.
Juliet told reporters that the cylinder fell inside a neighbour’s apartment, Steven Ebo and exploded.
“When the incident occurred everybody ran out of the house. They went in later with a warning that nobody should light a match.
“At that point, I refused to move in with my neighbours. But before I knew it, they ran out again shouting fire, fire, fire.
“I thereafter discovered that one of our neighbours, who was cooking in his apartment, opened his door, which ignited the gas.
“The victims attempted to escape through the exit door, but it did not open.”