Another body recovered as 100 displaced persons move to Igando relief camp
Residents counter govt, say casualty figures downplayed
Another body was yesterday recovered by emergency responders combing the scene of the explosion in Abule-Ado, Amuwo-Odofin Local Government Area of Lagos State. The official death toll recorded from the explosion now stands at 21 after the new recovery.
Director-General, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Dr. Oluwafemi Oke-Osanyintolu, confirmed the development, adding that the explosion displaced 468 persons from their homes after the ongoing enumeration of victims.
However, residents of the community have faulted the reports that the explosion displaced 468 persons from their homes, saying the community housed about 10,000 people and over 5,000 of them were affected by the explosion. Speaking yesterday, the Oluomo of Abule-Ado Kingdom and coordinating chairman, Abule-Ado Stakeholders for Justice, Aare Oladotun Hassan, stated that three hotels were brought to rubbles as against the official claim by LASEMA of one hotel affected by the explosion. He urged the government to carry out a forensic investigation in the community to ascertain the correct number of the people that were affected.
He said: “Three hotels were affected in the community and many houses. That area is highly populated. The people living in that area is over 10,000 and not less than 5,000 of them would be affected being that it happened on a Sunday morning.”
Corroborating Hassan’s claim, one Cletus, who lost his three relatives to the explosion said he was disappointed with the figures of casualty recorded by the media. “What happened here was a bomb blast, it is clearly seen, and every human being knows that if it was anything connected to oil, this whole line will be burnt. If it were pipeline explosion, the people who are 10km away would not have been affected. People in Ajegunle, Agbara and even Sango heard the loud noise. Initially they said 17 people died and now 20, but I am telling you, people that perished here are over 300.”
Another resident simply identified as Chimezie, said: “What got me angry is the claim that 17 people died. Over 100 lives were lost in this unfortunate situation. We personally pulled out 19 lifeless bodies yesterday (Wednesday). We are not happy with what is happening. This is not a pipeline explosion, our community was bombed. The people at the helm of affairs know what is happening. Pipelines do not blow that way, it couldn’t have affected all these houses if it was a pipeline explosion. We were the ones that carried the bodies of a young Rev. Father and two Rev. Sisters out of the destroyed building.”
The commandant of the Navy Reference Hospital, Dr. A.O. Aliyu, disclosed that of the 56 patients brought to the hospital from the explosion site, only nine patients are left in their hospital.
Meanwhile, the Lagos State government has relocated 100 persons affected by the explosion to Igando relief camp in Ikotun area of the state. According to the LASEMA boss, the decision to relocate the victims is to ensure their adequate welfare, stressing that some persons were still missing.
“Of the 468 people displaced from their homes, 100 of them are now in the relief camp. Two are still missing. Our help desk remains manned and our personnel are available to manage enquiries and arrange transfer to the LASEMA relief camp for those who have need of shelter and food,” he said.
Worried by the apprehension from relatives of victims and sympathizers, Oke-Osanyintolu appealed for calm, saying, “We urge members of the public to keep away from the scene, while we continue to provide updates.”