According to reports, the couple and their children were caught in the fire caused by the explosion while driving in their vehicle to church.
The Director General/CEO LASEMA, Dr. Olufemi Oke-Osanyimtolu, who confirmed the number of casualties, said the cause of the explosion is yet to be ascertained.
“17 bodies have been recovered while 25 casualties are being treated for injuries on site. We sympathise with the families that lost their loved ones to the inferno and wish the injured quick recovery. We appeal for calm and urge residents to shun fake news. Operation is still in progress. Updates will continue through the course of operation while investigations remain on going” stated Oke-Osanyintolu.
Also among the dead ones were a newly wedded couple and the principal of Bethlehem Girls College, Rev. Sr Henrietta Alokha.
The principal reportedly died while trying to save over three hundred boarding students who were in the school premises.
Over 50 buildings, including the Bethlehem school, in the area and neighbouring communities were affected by the unfortunate incident.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Commission, NNPC, has said attribute the cause of the explosion to gas pipe.