A deadly blast that rocked the Nigerian city of Ibadan overnight was caused by explosives stored by illegal miners, the Oyo state governor has said.
Two people were killed and 77 others injured in the explosion that has affected seven suburbs of Nigeria’s third-most-populous city.
Crowds have thronged the site of the blast as rescue efforts continue.
A man whose mother’s home was destroyed says she was in bed at the time of the blast and is now in the hospital.
Buildings have been reduced to near rubble at the site of the blast and vehicles have been destroyed. Further away from the blast zone, windows have been blown out of houses and rooftops have been damaged.
Eyewitnesses say the explosion happened at around 19:45 local time (18:45 GMT) in Bodija, a residential district of the city.
It was heard across the city of Ibadan, the capital of south-western Oyo State.
Oyo Governor Seyi Makinde posted a statement on Facebook, promising that those responsible would be “brought to book.”
He has directed that the medical bills of all victims be covered by the government, and he will also be providing temporary accommodation for those whose houses were affected and ensuring that they are supported to rebuild their lives.
Mr. Makinde also stated that, as part of measures by the government to address the situation, it had set up an Emergency Operation Center to oversee search and rescue.
He promised that search and rescue efforts would continue until all lives in the vicinity of the blast were accounted for, adding that the government has also made provisions with hotels to accommodate victims and those living close to the site of the incident once they can identify themselves.
The Head of Emergency Operations, Temitope Alonge, said an emergency response to the incident was to set up a team of about 40 doctors, 40 nurses and 25 medical students at the University College Hospital, Ibadan.
He added that victims who were injured were receiving medical attention in private and government hospitals and that most of them were in stable condition.
Two private schools in the area were shut down. Barakat and the Educational Advancement Center were locked. Their students came to resume, only to be sent back home by their teachers.