The Federal Capital Territory Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has confirmed that a diesel tank explosion was responsible for the fire that gutted a section of the Canadian High Commission in Abuja on Monday, killing two persons and injuring two others.
Mrs Nkechi Isa, Head of Public Affairs of FEMA disclosed this in a statement.
Isa said that the diesel tank exploded around 10:45 a.m. in the generator house of the High Commission just as two MIKANO generators were being serviced by a five-man team from JMD company.
“One of the generators was said to be working, while the other one was being serviced when a tank containing 2,000 litres of diesel in the generator house exploded.
“Two of the personnel servicing the generator died from the explosion while two others survived with severe burns and were taken to the Trauma Centre at the National Hospital, Abuja,” she said.
Isa added that the FCT Fire Service was able to contain the fire around 12.30 p.m. while ambulances from the Ministry of Defence, Federal Fire Service, FEMA were on standby.
Reacting to the development, the acting Director-General, FEMA, Mr Mohammed Sabo, called for caution while handling petroleum products, particularly with the onset of the dry season.
Sabo appealed to residents to always use the 112 emergency toll-free number in the event of any disaster or emergency situation.
Recall that a section of the Canadian High Commission in Abuja caught fire earlier in the day.
The cause of the fire outbreak was previously unclear, amidst speculation by eyewitnesses at the scene that the fire could have resulted from an explosion at the embassy’s power-generating plant.
The members of staff of the mission and vehicles were seen being evacuated from the building while dark smoke was seen spiraling from the white building of the mission into the atmosphere.
The High Commission provides visa and immigration services for persons seeking to visit or emigrate to Canada.
It also offers services to Canadians visiting and living in Nigeria and to Canadians in Equatorial Guinea, as well as Sao Tome and Principe.
Its services include adoption and surrogacy, birth abroad, citizenship services, marriage abroad, passport services, notarial services, studying abroad, and visa and immigration services.
Also, following earlier inquiries, the Public Relations Officer of the FCT Fire Service Mr Ibrahim Tauheed could not confirm what actually happened at the High Commission.