11 killed, others injured in Ibadan market fire

Published 4 years ago by: infotainer
at 10:57 AM, 13/10/2014 (4 years ago)

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At least 11 people lost their lives while several others sustained varying degrees of burns after a tanker laden with petrol burst in flames around Molete Market, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

An employee of the Nigerian Tribune, Mr. Samson Oyewole, and an eight year-old girl were among the victims of the fire which burnt 45 shops at the market on Saturday night.

Although Oyewole was fortunate not to have died, eyewitnesses told PUNCH Metro learnt that the death toll could be as high as 15. It was the second major fire incident in the city in two months, with Alesinloye Market fire, being the first on August 16.

When our correspondent visited the scene on Sunday morning, the police and other security agents in large numbers were seen restoring order while men of the Oyo State Fire Service Department were trying to evacuate the fallen tanker and other vehicles affected.

Eyewitnesses said the Saturday fire started when a truck carrying fuel fell at the busy Molete roundabout, burst in flames, consuming 13 vehicles, three houses, seven commercial motorcycles, three commercial tricycles and goods worth millions of naira. Most of the deaths recorded were roadside traders.

Public Relations Officer, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Ayodeji Bobade, told our correspondent that apart from the eight-year-old girl that was rushed to the hospital, having suffered a high degree of burns, six other males and four females were also brought to the teaching hospital late on Saturday in severe condition, with one of them confirmed dead.

He said, “Eleven people were brought here with a girl, all suffering from severe burns. One of them died over night while others are receiving treatment at the burns unit of the hospital.”

The Iyaloja of Molete Market, Alhaja Iswat Oyinlola, told our correspondent that but for the river behind the market, which absolved more than half of the fuel that spilled from the tanker, more deaths would have been recorded.

She said, “I was already at home around 10pm when I got the message that a petrol tanker fell at Molete roundabout and spilled its content, causing a huge fire. By the time I got to the market, the fire had spread. If not for the river behind the market, the fuel would have flooded the whole neighbourhood and caused more death because it happened when many people were retiring to their beds.

“I discovered that 13 vehicles, seven commercial motorcycles and three commercial tricycles were burnt, 10 people were killed and 45 shops were affected. We don’t know the actual number of those who died in the inferno but from the list I have with me, 10 people were confirmed dead. Others were taken to the hospital.”

Oyinlola added that Governor Abiola Ajimobi was at the scene early in the morning where he expressed sympathy at the huge loss.

While blaming commercial bus drivers at the scene of the tragedy for the accident, Oyinlola called on the police to enforce traffic law in the area.

“Commercial bus drivers who have turned the roundabout to their park, thereby causing huge traffic around the area, caused the accident. From what I learnt, the truck was unable to negotiate the bend smoothly, and because it had a full load of fuel in its tanker, it lost control and fell.

“We appeal to the police to do their work without sentiment. They should ensure that the drivers don’t pick up their passengers by the roundabout. This will ease the traffic around the area and avert disaster.”

Among the dead was a man who was caught in the fire after leaving a drug store overlooking the overhead bridge. The owner of the pharmacy store, Chigozie Eze, narrated how he lost everything to the fire.

He said, “The driver was trying to steer the vehicle away from a pothole at the roundabout and at the same time making attempts not to collide with the commercial busses at the area when it fell. The content spilled and exploded. My brother and another person escaped through the back door but we lost everything.

“I had more than N400,000 in the shop but it was burnt to ashes. A customer who just bought drugs was caught in the fire, he died immediately. I don’t know where to start again.”

Mr. Ahmed Adeoye, who said he had a store full of building materials and house accessories in the market, said he suffered a huge loss. He said many of the people who died were roadside traders who refused to obey the government order.

“The fire gutted everything I had in my shop including money. I cannot quantify the amount I lost accurately but it is over N2m. Thank God no one sustained injury in my shop but many roadside traders lost their lives and goods in the fire. I counted about 15 bodies very late in the night when the fire subsided.”




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Wikigenius at 12:43 PM, 1/12/2015 (3 years ago)
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Sorry for d loss
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