Three more bodies have been recovered from the rubble of the Sunday morning explosion which occurred at Abule-Ado, Amuwo-Odofin, Lagos.
The figure brings the number of those who died at the scene to 18, while many more injured persons have been admitted at the Nigerian Navy Reference Hospital, Navy Town, Ojo.
The Public Relations Officer of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), South-West, Ibrahim Farinloye, confirmed the recovery of the three bodies, adding that a child was rescued alive.
The Command Information Officer, Western Naval Command, Navy Commander Thomas Otuji, said that a total of 55 persons were rushed to the Nigerian Navy Reference Hospital by rescuers led by the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Western Naval Command.
Otuji said, “Those brought to the hospital are made up of 36 school children and 19 adults. One of the adults had about 35 per cent mixed degree burns, with inhalation injuries and pulmonary edema. He has been admitted into the Intensive Care Unit and connected to a ventilator.
“Seven other adults and two children are on admission in the wards. Two adults had traumatic brain injury and were referred to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital for neurosurgical intervention. The remaining 43 have been treated and discharged. Three people – two females and a male – were brought in dead.”
A resident in the area, Michael Abiye, said he was still looking for his cousin who was staying with him.
According to Abiye, “My cousin told me he worships in one of the pentecostal churches in the area, but I don’t know the particular church. Since the incident occurred, I have not seen him and his phone is switched off. I have gone to all the hospitals, including the Navy hospital, Ojo, but I couldn’t find him.”
The area remained cordoned off yesterday by police operatives and emergency workers with a view to prevent urchins from looting items that could still
However, it was observed that the urchins still defied police presence to steal household equipment in the guise of helping victims to move them to safe ground.
Some people were also seen parking out from the area for fear of another explosion.
One of them, John Okon, said, “I am a trader at the Trade Fair Complex. I moved into the area five years ago because of its proximity to my business place. I actually started entertaining fear when I began hearing words of how vandals were always destroying pipelines round here to scoop for fuel. At times, the air would be filled with thick odour of petrol from spillage.
“I am happy that I am moving out of the area with my family still alive and safe. Some people are still looking for their children.”