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DPR, NSCDC arrest 5 welders over refurbishing of expired cylinders in Kaduna

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The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) Kaduna Zonal Office, on Tuesday confiscated 20 pieces of 12.5kg expired and burnt gas cylinders undergoing refurbishing for use.

DPR officials also ordered the arrest of the owner of the welding shop where the cylinders were being refurbished and four others working with him.

Operatives of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), arrested the suspects and took them to their office for further investigation and possible prosecution.

The seizures and arrests followed a raid by the DPR and Civil Defence on the welding shop in Kabala Road, Tudun Wada, Kaduna.

The Head DPR Zonal Office, Kaduna, Mr Isa Tafida said the cylinders were confiscated because they were expired, scrap and had become dangerous to be used to refill cooking gas.

According to him, any attempt to refurbish them for reuse will be dangerous for everyone and everything around such environment, as they had become a time bomb waiting to explode.

“The massive sensitisation programme we embarked on is working. We received a tip-off from a member of the community, who informed us that this welder buys expired, scrap gas cylinders to refurbish and sell to the public as new.

“These cylinders are decommissioned with a hole in the bottom, but they put a bolt in the hole and weld them like that.

“The cylinders don’t have strength to hold gas; they cannot withstand gas pressure, at the slightest pressure they would explode like bomb.

“The guy just goes out look for pieces of cylinder scrap, welds them together, paints them and sells as new at exorbitant prices to unsuspecting public who don’t know that they are buying time bomb.

“People buying gas cylinders should buy at DPR licensed retail outlets. They should look for Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) stamp and expiry date.

“We came with law enforcement agents to arrest those involved for further investigation and possible prosecution,’’ Tafida said.

One of the five persons arrested, who owns the welding shop, however, said a client brought the 20 cylinders to him for repairs on Monday and was to come to pick them up on Tuesday.

“Someone brought the 20 cylinders for repair; I don’t know where he got them, I don’t know what he wanted to do with them.

“I charged him N1, 100 for each one, which is N22, 000 for the 20 cylinders. He brought them on Monday to collect them back on Tuesday.

“ I don’t know his address, but I have his phone number and I can call him to come and collect them’’, he said.

The suspects have been handed over to the NSCDC for investigation and possible prosecution.

Recall that a Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) retail outlet in Sabo Tasha, Chikun Local Government Area (LGA), Kaduna, had on Jan. 4 exploded, killing eight persons and injuring four others

Mr Simon Mallam, a Professor of Nuclear Physics at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria and Chairman of Nigerian Atomic Energy Commission was among those killed by the explosion.

Edited by: Gregg Mmaduakolam/Oluwole Sogunle

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