A witness says 18 people are dead and more than 40 others have burns after a gas explosion in central Nigeria. Taxi driver Yakubu Charles says Monday’s blast occurred at a gas depot in Lafia, capital of Nasarawa state. He helped to evacuate victims after more than a dozen occupied vehicles burned. The Nigeria Police Force and Federal Road Safety Corps confirm the blast but decline to give a number of casualties.
Nigeria’s Senate president, Bukola Saraki, in a Twitter post calls the explosion “horrific” and says he met with survivors. He offers prayers for families who lost relatives. Many gas dealers operate mini-depots in Nigerian cities with no strong measures to regulate their activities, leading to frequent explosions. In January, 10 people died in a blast in Lagos state.