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Otedola fire disaster victims demand DNA result

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Emergency personnel carry the remains of a victim at the scene of an oil tanker explosion on a highway in Lagos on June 28, 2018 / AFP PHOTO / KAREEM IBRAHIM

β€’ Father seeks govt assistance to fly child abroad for treatment
Families of the Otedola tanker fire accidents that occurred on June 28, 2018 have urged the Lagos State government to release the report of the DNA test carried out. This is just as the state government has begun moves to ensure the prosecution of the Kano-based owner of the tanker trailer.

The identity of the owner of the tanker has been revealed as Hassan Yusuf Maiwaka. Its registration documents have been traced to Nasarawa State – NSR 88 YK. His designation and name of his organisation were not announced by the authorities.

The Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Transportation in Lagos, Taiwo Salaam, yesterday disclosed this during a meeting with owners of vehicles that were lost to the inferno. Salaam confirmed that 55 vehicles were burnt; 39 of these cars were registered in Lagos. Details show 42 SUVs; seven buses, three trucks; two pick-up vans and one motorcycle. Also, 12 lives were lost to the explosion.

It will be recalled that eight families showed up for DNA testing in connection with the Otedola Link Bridge tanker fire incident. Some family members present at the meeting yesterday urged the state government to release the DNA test result, as it has taken too long after the accident.

Speaking earlier, the Commissioner of Transportation, Mr. Ladi Lawanson, commiserated with the family of those who lost their lives to the fire incident. He said effort is in place to ensure that the owner of the vehicle that led to the fire accidents is prosecuted.

β€œIt is so unfortunate, but the Lagos State government has written to the Commissioner of Police in Lagos to ensure that the owner of the vehicle is brought from Kano to Lagos for prosecution.”

The Director Vehicle Inspection Service (VIS), Hafiz Toriola, said out of the 55 vehicles lost, 39 were registered in Lagos and the owners have been identified through the Auto Magnetic Machine, a machine used in tracing numbers of vehicles and the owners. He said those identified would be compensated duly.

The Director-General Nigeria Insurance Association (NIA), Mrs. Yetunde Ilori, said compensation under this particular incident fall into two categories and only those with genuine insurance will be compensated.

Meanwhile, it was a pathetic story as a father whose wife and seven years old daughter got severely burnt in the explosion appealed to the government to assist him renew the international passport of her little daughter to enable him fly her and her mother abroad for adequate treatment so as not to jeopardise the future of the girl.

The father, who said he has spent over N4 million so far for their treatment refused to disclose his name or have his photograph taken because he does not want the matter to go public. He said he initially took his daughter and wife to a private hospital after the accident after which he relocated them to Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, but now needed to fly them out for proper treatment because he is not satisfied with the plight of his only daughter and wife.

He wants the government to arrange for the only mobile capturing machine which is at Abuja to be brought down to LASUTH to do her capturing to enable her renew her passport since she can not be moved for the same purpose to the passport office here in Lagos.

The Commissioner for Transport assured him that the government will look into it but asked the sorrowful father to see him immediately after the meeting.

Managing Director of LASEMA assured families concerned that the Ministry of Health was still working on the DNA test and immediately it is through with the exercise it will call for a meeting of all those concerned and arrangements would be made to release the bodies to the right families for burial.


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