SOKOTO, Nigeria — A catastrophic explosion in a local welder’s shop in the Isa Local Government Area of Sokoto State claimed at least four lives on Sunday, May 21, 2023, according to the Sokoto State Police Command.
This tragedy unfolded amid ongoing security concerns in this eastern senatorial district.
Sanusi Abubakar, the Spokesman of Sokoto State Police Command, confirmed the fatalities to journalists, specifying that the explosion resulted from an accident with a cylinder in the welder’s shop.
“This incident is not tied to the current security challenges that the area is grappling with,” he said, aiming to quell potential fears of a new insurgent attack.
In addition to the four confirmed fatalities, three other individuals were critically injured in the explosion.
They are currently undergoing treatment at an undisclosed hospital within the state, according to the police Public Relations Officer.
Yet, locals recount a different story, suggesting that the toll might be higher. Eyewitnesses in the community claimed that the explosion resulted in five deaths, while several others sustained various degrees of injuries.
One resident, who requested anonymity, told our correspondent, “It is a difficult period for the people who have already suffered a series of attacks from armed bandits.”
Abubakar Danali, the chairman of the local government, confirmed the incident but could not verify the number of casualties, as he was out of town at the time of the devastating incident.
“We are in touch with our people on the ground, doing everything possible to offer assistance in this tragic time,” Danali said.
The explosion adds to the continuing woes of Sokoto State’s eastern senatorial district, a region that has been troubled by recurring security challenges.
Despite assurances from DSP Abubakar that Sunday’s explosion was an accident, the event has undoubtedly rattled a community already burdened by fear and unrest.