Six victims out of the 13 rescued by the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) during July 4, 2019 pipeline explosion fire at Ijegun, Igando/Ikotun Local Council Development Area, Lagos State, have died.
This brings to 10 the number od deaths since after the early morning pipeline explosion in the Lagos suburb.
On July 4, there was a pipeline explosion at Ijegun, Lagos State, which necessitated residents living several kilometres away from the fire point at the Isheri community and Kudeyibu Estate to scamper from their homes in panic, as the flames escalated and spread close to a gas station in the area.
The inferno, which claimed two lives on the spot as well as destroyed several houses and properties, also left 13 casualties.
The casualties were rescued by the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), which took them to the Igando General Hospital for first aid and later to the Gbagada General Hospital.
The hospital could not accommodate the victims for lack of space which made them move the victims to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH ) for prompt attention.
However, our correspondent who visited the homes of some of the victims discovered that in spite of efforts to save their lives at LASUTH, the first two died on Friday, July 5, while four others died on Saturday, July 6.
Mrs Veronica Odogwu, a sister-in-law to one of the victims, Nnabuife Emerokwem, told Newsmen that her in-law struggled to survive but eventually succumbed to death in spite of all medical attention.
Odogwu, who is an experienced nurse said: “My late brother-in-law died in the early hours of Saturday because the burns were of high degree which led to swelling in his head.
“As soon as LASEMA brought my in-law, alongside other victims, from the Igando General Hospital where they were given some first aid to LASUTH, they gave a long list of urgent drugs and apparatus we needed.
“At first, we tried to complain because we were told that all medical expenses would be taken care of, but the state of our victims did not allow us go into that kind of argument.
“As I speak to you, we spent over N60, 000, trying to rescue my brother-in-law who was caught up in his Volvo car, while driving past by the side of the Catholic church.
“We were made to pay or provide those things for treatment,” she said.
Odogwu told Newsmen that her late brother-in-law was caught up in the explosion because he was behind the bus driver whose car exploded while trying to start the engine of his bus.
According to her, the late Emorokwem, a father of three children, could not escape the fire because he was trapped between the bus and another car, which was why he ran out immediately with the burns.
“He did not meet his end immediately because he ran out and started calling out for help; but the driver of the bus and a security agent jumped into the canal close by, not knowing it was already filled with fuel,” she told NAN.
She said it was unfortunate that some families lost their loved ones at LASUTH because they could not meet up with the medical expenses and requirements from the hospital.
According to her, the hospital refused to release the body of her brother-in-law because they said an autopsy must be carried out on him.
“So, we intend to move him to the village after the exercise,” she said.
Recall that a similar inferno had occurred in May 2008, where several people, including school children, as well as houses and properties worth millions of Naira were also lost, hence the need to increase efforts to tighten security and go tougher on pipeline vandalism. (NAN)