Earlier, Kano Police Commissioner Sama’ila Shu’aibu Dikko told CNN the blast came from a gas cylinder that exploded near a school in Kano’s Sabon Gari neighborhood.
“It was a gas explosion. There was a welder nearby and his gas cylinder exploded right next to a private school…we recovered four injured, including the welder and a woman. No children was hit,” Dikko said. CNN from the site of the explosion.
The local police chief said an unknown number of people were injured but did not elaborate on the circumstances leading up to the explosion.
Kano Information Commissioner Mohammed Garba also told CNN that no infrastructure at the children’s school was affected by the blast.
“The blast occurred around a store that sells animal feed. The site of the blast is across from a kindergarten and primary school…no school building is was hit.”
Eyewitness accounts of a suicide bomber led to allegations of a cover-up.
Kano Police Chief Dikko, however, insisted it was a gas canister explosion while calling reports of a suicide bomber “malicious information”.
“There is no cover-up. We were on the scene with our experts. We recovered a lot of chemicals inside the welding shop. It was a gas cylinder explosion,” said the police commissioner at CNN.
Human rights lawyer Chidi Odinkalu argued that the authorities had not had enough time to determine the cause of the explosion and that there was no adequate laboratory in the State to carry out the analysis only a few hours after the explosion.
“Even if they determine it was a gas explosion, they must also rule out that the gas was used as a weapon for attack purposes,” he added. “Again, they didn’t have time to do that. They didn’t release any statement saying that the circumstances of the gas explosion had no criminal enterprise imputation. Obviously, they didn’t couldn’t have done it in the time available.”
The use of inferior cooking and welding gas cylinders, as well as direct exposure to flames in densely populated areas has led to previous explosions in the past.
A cylinder of welding gas is a common sight in many makeshift welding shops in Nigeria due to its relevance to craftsmanship.