Kano Explosion: Police Confirm 9 Dead, Arrest Suspected Illicit Chemical Dealers

Some of the chemical substances at the scene of the Kano explosion

The Kano State Police Command has confirmed that a total of nine persons lost their lives in the Aba Court Road, Sabon Gari explosion that rocked the State  on Tuesday.

The confirmation was contained in a statement issued on Saturday, 21 May, 2022, by the State Command’s spokesperson, SP Abdullahi Kiyawa.

TheFact Nigeria recalls that on Tuesday, 17 May, 2022, an explosion occured at No. 01 Aba/Court Road, Sabon Gari Quarters, Kano, that led to the collapse of a storey building which housed four shops and a residential apartment.

As at the time of the incident, the police reported that only four persons lost their lives, while the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) reported that the number of lives lost was nine.

Furthermore, while speculations were rife that the explosion was caused by a suicide bomber, the police maintained that “Preliminary Forensic Analysis revealed a suspected gas cylinder explosion with the recovery of chemicals”.

The abandoned vehicle loaded with IEDs

According to Kiyawa, 9 people were certified dead by a medical doctor, while 8 victims, including students of Winners Kids Academy opposite the collapsed building, who sustained minor injuries as a result of shock waves, were treated and discharged.

Kiyawa gave the names of the deceased victims of the explosion as: Ejike Vincent, a wielder; Michael Adejo, a chemicals dealer;
Musa Kalla, tea seller, Christiana Abosade, Mary, Austine Dada, Madam Owoleke, Omo Ben and Bose Oladapo.

The Kano Police spokesman further disclosed that preliminary investigation revealed that, among the 9 victims of the explosion, one of them, Michael Adejo, was involved in the illicit storage of toxic chemicals and other hazardous materials.

Items recovered at the scene include; Five (5) bottles of different brands of acidic liquid, three (3) bags of potassium substance, one (1) jerrycan of mixed chemicals, six and a half (6.5) cartons of snuff (tobacco), and five (5) drums of Polymer (chemical).

Technical investigation conducted by the Command’s Explosive Ordinance Disposal – Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defence (EOD-CBRN) revealed that the explosion is suspected to have occurred as a result of a mixture of chemical /gas reactions exposed to a source of heat, such as fire, spark or increase in pressure resulting in combustion/shock waves, and creating an explosion which can have shattering effects.

Weapons recovered from the vehicle

Kiyawa further disclosed that arrests have been made linking one of the collapsed shops with dealings in sales of illicit, toxic chemical substances and combustible materials suspected to be used for making Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). Evidence of purchase was also recovered. An investigation is in progress.

In another development, the Command received an intelligence report on Thursday, 19 May, 2022, that an ash-coloured Mercedes Benz vehicle, laden with Suspected sophisticated Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), was coming into the State from Jigawa State.

Upon receipt of the intelligence, the Commissioner of Police, Kano State Command, CP Sama’ila Shu’aibu Dikko, immediately raised a crack team comprising Explosive Ordinance Disposal – Chemical, Biological Radiological and Nuclear Defence (EOD-CBRN) and Operation Puff Adder.

The vehicle was sighted and a hot chase by the police followed, leading the suspects to abandon the vehicle at Bubbugaje Quarters, Kumbotso LGA, in Kano.

A technical search conducted by the team revealed that the vehicle was fully loaded with Improvised Explosive Device materials. In addition, two (2) AK-47 rifles, four (4) AK-47 magazines, one Thousand and Ninety-Eight (1,098) live ammunition, and two (2) pistol magazines were also recovered. An investigation has commenced.

Meanwhile, CP Sama’ila Shu’aibu Dikko, has urged residents to continue praying for the State and the nation, and to be vigilant and report any suspicious person or persons, item(s), movement or incidences to the nearest Police Station, and not take laws into their hands.

He assured that round-the-clock visibility patrol and raids of criminal hideouts and black spots would continue throughout the State, as the command will sustain the ongoing “Operation Puff Adder” that has been yielding positive results.

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