Following the gas explosion that claimed lives of no fewer than five persons in Kaduna on Saturday, the Department of Petroleum Resources, Sunday, vowed to shut down any illegal gas retailers across the 23 Local Government Areas of the state.
DPR’s Northwest Operations Controller, Alhaji Isa Tafida, while disclosing this, also added that operators of gas not licensed by the agency risk prosecution.
Addressing reporters shortly after on the spot assessment of the damage at the scene of the incident, Tafida expressed concern over the unwholesome activities of illegal retail gas vendors in the state.
The DPR boss lamented that the unfortunate incident happened few days after the agency went to sensitize the citizens of the state on the danger of patronizing illegal retail gas outlets in the state, warning the public against such activities.
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According to him, the agency in collaboration with security agencies will go out to dislodge illegal retail gas outlet operators and prosecute them.
He noted that preliminary investigation indicated that the facility in question where the explosion took place was an illegal retailing gas vendor that “engages in illegal storage of LPG (cooking) and acetylene (industrial gas).
While describing the incident as unfortunate, Tafida said the agency would no longer tolerate illegal activities of gas retailers in the State and other states under the northwest zone comprising Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Jigawa, Sokoto and Zamfara.
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The DPR boss therefore appealed to residents to report any illegal gas vendor to avert further recurrence of the unfortunate incident with the view to protecting lives and properties.