No fewer than eight hospitalised victims of the pipeline fire incident in the Ijegun area of Lagos State have reportedly succumbed to death as a result of the severe burns they suffered.
Among the dead are a mechanic, Murphy Afolabi; his wife, Rashidat; their three-year-old son, Ridwan; and their daughter, Opeyemi; as well as a woman, Idayat Mondiu and her daughter, identified simply as Iya Jumoke.
A couple, identified simply as Daddy and Mummy Warris, were also among those who died three days after the fuel spillage and the attendant fire.
Mondiu’s family of 12, Afolabi’s family of seven and the Warris’ family of four, among others, were said to be asleep in their various homes around the canal on the Catholic Church Street when the incident occurred and were burnt by the raging inferno.
They were all hospitalised at the Gbagada General Hospital and the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, while the surviving members of the families were said to be battling to survive the tragedy.
The inferno resulted from an explosion at a vandalised point of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s product pipeline in the Ijegun area of the Igando-Ikotun Local Council Development Area on Thursday, which led to the death of two persons, while scores of residents were injured and properties worth several millions of naira destroyed.
Sources at the scene alleged that the spillage occurred when some yet-to-be identified vandals were ambushed by security agents, while scooping fuel from a punctured NNPC pipeline.
The vandals, in an attempt to escape from the scene, were said to have left the punctured point open as fuel spilled all over the area, including the drainage channel connecting Irede Street and the canal on the Catholic Church Street.
While an account had it that the vandals set the spilled fuel on fire in order to escape arrest, another stated that