The death toll of the pipeline explosion that occurred at Ijegun in Egbeda area of Lagos last Thursday has continued to rise with the Lagos State government confirming that 10 more victims have died at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) and Gbagada General Hospital.
The Permanent Secretary in the state’s Ministry of Health, Dr. Titilayo Goncalves disclosed this on Monday while on a visit to the victims of the inferno.
Goncalves said the State Government has not abandoned the victims as being speculated but is providing the best care possible to ensure their full recovery.
She stated that out of the 22 victims rescued by the Lagos State Ambulance Service (LASAMBUS), 9 were taken to LASUTH, 12 were taken to Trauma and Burns Unit, Gbagada General Hospital while one is being treated at Alimosho General Hospital.
Her words: “Unfortunately, due to the high degree of burns suffered by these victims which is almost at 100 percent, we lost 10 of them but we are doing everything possible to ensure that no other life is lost and we will continue to do all in our power to provide intensive care for the remaining and from reports received so far, they are responding to treatment.
“Treatment of victims with a high percentage of burns requires intensive care and management which should follow some treatment protocol and this is why I am appealing to families of the victims to be calm and cooperate with our health workers as they care for their loved ones.”
It would be recalled that fire broke out in Ijegun area of Lagos last Thursday when suspected vandals were trying to siphon petrol from pipelines belonging to the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC).
Many people lost their lives while properties worth millions of naira were detroyed by the fire. Although reports said up to 10 people died at the scene of the explosion, the Lagos State government said two people were confirmed dead at the scene while 22 were taken to hospital with severe burns. Ten of them have now been confirmed dead.
Speaking further on the care of the victims in hospital since Thursday, Goncalves said the state government has so far spent over N10 Million in taking care of them, adding that the survivors of the inferno are receiving adequate and quality care at designated government facilities free of charge.
“Victims of the inferno are being provided with adequate and quality care in our facilities free of charge in line with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s directive and they are being closely monitored and cared for by our specialists to ensure their full recovery and rehabilitation,”she said.
Also, the Chief Medical Director(CMD), LASUTH, Dr. Adetokunbo Fabamwo stated that the teaching hospital and its annex, Trauma and Burns Unit, Gbagada General Hospital had since received the patients and are providing the necessary care and support needed to aid their quick recovery.
“LASUTH alone has expended about N6 million so far to cover laboratory investigations, X-rays, consumables and medications; in fact, one of the patients was treated with silver patches costing N350,000,”he said.
He added that daily on-the-spot assessments are being conducted by specialists in burns and trauma to ensure that the victims are rehabilitated in line with treatment protocol for the burns.
“I want to assure families of the victims that their loved ones will receive the best care possible and we will ensure availability of medical and other supplies throughout the period of their management,” the CMD said.
He advised victims families not to liaise with anybody that is not a staff at the designated hospitals, adding that they should report any case of extortion or ill-treatment by any person to his office or the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, stressing that the treatment of the victims is free.