The police and residents of the area had been in disagreement over the true cause of the explosion as residents claimed that it was a bomb attack while the police argued that all the material evidence pointed to gas/chemical explosion.
Meanwhile, despite the recovery of the IED laden vehicle, the police has continued to maintain its stance on what led to the incident.
The police revealed in a statement issued by the state Spokesman, SP Abdullahi Haruna Kiyawa, on Saturday, May 21, 2022, that the vehicle was seized on Thursday, May 19, 2022, Daily Trust reported.
The statement read, “On the 19/05/2022, following an intelligence report that a Mercedes Benz Motor Vehicle, Ash in color with suspected sophisticated Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) is coming from Jigawa State to Kano State, the Commissioner of Police, Kano State Command, CP Sama’ila Shu’aibu Dikko, immediately raised a crack team comprising Explosive Ordnance Disposal – Chemical, Biological Radiological and Nuclear Defence (EOD-CBRN) and Operation Puff Adder.
“At about 1630hrs of the same date, following a hot chase, the suspects abandoned the Motor Vehicle at Bubbugaje Quarters Kumbotso LGA Kano State.”
Kiwaya added that after a technical search conducted by the team, the vehicle was discovered to be fully loaded with IED materials, two AK-47 Rifles, four AK-47 magazines, 1,098 live ammunition and two pistol magazines.
While providing update on the Sabon Gari explosion, the force spokesman confirmed the identities of nine victims which include one Michael Adejo, who was allegedly dealing in “illicit storage of toxic chemicals and other hazardous materials.”
Other victims that lost their lives as a result of the explosion are; Ejike Vincent (Welder), Musa Kalla (Tea Seller), Christiana Abosade, Austine Dada, Madam Owoleke, Omo Ben, Bose Oladapo, and a woman simply identified as Mary.
Kiwaya said items including; five bottles of different brands of acidic liquid, three bags of Potassium substance, a Jerry can of mixed chemicals, six and a half cartons of Snuff (Tobacco), and five drums of Polymer (Chemical) were retrieved from the scene of the explosion.
“Technical investigation conducted by the command’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal – Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defence (EOD-CBRN) revealed that the explosion is suspected to have occurred as a result of mixed Chemical/Gas reactions exposed to a source of heat, such as fire, spark or increased in pressure resulting in combustion/shock waves, creating an explosion which can have shattering effects.
“Meanwhile arrests have been made linking one of the collapsed shop with dealings in sales of illicit, toxic chemical substances and combustible materials suspected to be used for making Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). Evidence of purchase was also recovered. An investigation is in progress,” he added.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari had directed that the injured persons from the incident should be given adequate medical treatment.
This was contained in statement issue by Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu.