At least 24 persons were killed in a gas explosion, road crash and a bandit attack in Delta, Ondo and Kaduna states respectively.
Ten persons reportedly died on Friday night in Agbor, the headquarters of Ika South Local Government Area of Delta State after a gas plant went up in flames, destroying several buildings, vehicles and leaving many persons with serious injuries.
Eyewitnesses told Sunday PUNCH that a gas tanker had arrived at the Osadebe Gas Plant along the expressway around 6pm.
One of them, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said instead of waiting for hours to allow the vehicle and the content to cool off, they started discharging it immediately.
He said, “In the process, the tanker went up in flames and over seven buildings around the plant were burnt down, more than 10 people died while many were injured.
“They rushed the injured victims to the Central Hospital, Agbor, but there was nothing on the ground to attend to victims. It is a shame on the government. Some were taken to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital.
“Imagine taking somebody who is dying from Agbor to Benin, what would happen to them? Some victims died on the way before getting to UBTH.”
Firefighters battled the inferno for hours before it was eventually put out on Saturday.
Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, who visited the scene on Saturday, sympathised with the victims, confirming that four persons, including three children and a woman, died in the incident.
The governor also confirmed that no fewer than 11 persons were being treated at the UBTH for severe burns.
Okowa described the fire disaster as an unfortunate incident and announced that the state government would pick the medical bills of the victims.
He said, “We have visited the place and the victims and we have seen the extent of damage caused by the inferno. We lost four persons, three children and a woman.
“I also visited the Central Hospital at Agbor where they were initially rushed to with varying degrees of burns ranging from 80 to 90 per cent. They were immediately offered medical services even though they wouldn’t have been able to attend to them because of the extent of the burns, so they had to transfer them to the Federal Medical Centre Asaba, and the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, with the aid of ambulances provided by the State Government.
“I have directed the Commissioner for Health to make some deposits at the hospitals to enable them get full treatment.”
The governor said that complaints of inadequate medical care for the victims at the Agbor Central Hospital were misplaced, adding that most people who complained didn’t have an idea of what they were talking about.
He added, “I have listened and heard the complaints. Having listened to the medical director and the extent to which they went, obviously the patients had severe and extensive burns.
“Any burn above 30 per cent is a major burn and we are talking about 80 to 90 per cent burns here.”
In the Ondo crash which occurred on Saturday, eight people were killed while many sustained injuries as a trailer rammed into some shops at Akungba Akoko in the Akoko South West Local Government Area of the state.
The accident occurred opposite the Adekunle Ajasin University barely a month after a similar crash occurred in the area.
According to an eyewitness, the truck, which was coming from Ikare Akoko lost control and ran into some lock-up shops along the road.
He said about eight bodies had been recovered from under the truck.
The eyewitness said, “The truck was coming from the Ikare Akoko axis and had a brake failure. The driver lost control of the vehicle and swerved off the road to ram into the shop where students of the university were shopping.
“As I am talking to you now, we have been able to recover eight bodies. We are still trying to rescue those that were trapped inside the shops.”
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr Tee-Leo Ikoro, also confirmed that eight people were killed.
He said, “The cement truck was coming from Obajana (in Kogi State) when it rammed into the shop. Eight dead people have been recovered and our men are still searching for other trapped victims.”
All efforts to reach the Head of Operation of the Ondo State Sector Command of the Federal Road Safety Corps, was unsuccessful as his phone was switched off.
Meanwhile, some bandits in separate attacks reportedly killed six persons in Chikun and Giwa local government areas of Kaduna State.
The State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr Samuel Aruwan, who confirmed the attacks on Saturday, said security agencies informed the state of an attack on Maskoro community of Kakau Ward, and Akunakwo of Gwagwada Ward, both in Chikun Local Government Area.
In that attack, the commissioner said two persons were killed at Maskoro while another two were killed at Akunakwo, all in Chikun council.
He identified the two killed at Maskoro as Nehemiah Ishaku and Yunana Mai-Mulo, while Haruna Dogo and Danjuma Jagaba were killed at Akunakwo.
According to him, in another incident, between Hayin Inji and Kidandan town in Giwa Local Government Area, bandits attacked and killed one Alhaji Yahuza Jinaidu in a bid to dispossess him of his motorcycle.
He added that at ‘Yan Rake, Galadimawa, Giwa, bandits opened fire on people, injuring nine persons.
The commissioner added that one of the victims, Kabiru Lado, eventually died as he was being rushed to a hospital.
He said Governor Nasir El-Rufai expressed deep sadness over the attacks and prayed for the repose of the souls of those killed.
Aruwan urged security agencies to intensify efforts to curb such attacks.