By Onyekachukwu Meluwa, Warri
Exactly four person have been reportedly burnt to death and twenty houses destroyed at Agbor gas plant, Osadebe expressway in Ika South Local Government Area of Delta State.
The Union Nigeria gathered that the fire incident which occurred on Friday evening has 11 persons hopsitalised.
Although early sources claimed that, “the fire reportedly claimed 30 lives and destroyed 20 buildings along the Osadebe expressway, close to an eye clinic, Agbor.”
It was also gathered that the flames started at Agbor gas plants along the Osadebe expressway.
Other source claimed that, “Many were feared dead and many more with various degrees of burns.
The adjourning houses were not left out as the fire and explosion ripped through various houses…
“Friday is indeed a dark friday in Agbor….
“Agbor gas plant has been on flames, burns building as fire service battles to rescue structures engulfed in for.
“Many houses in Agbor , headquarters of Ika south have been razed following a fire that triggered out of a gas plant in the town.
“At the moment many houses are on fire, many dead, numbers of other casualties yet unknown.
Over 30 victims reportedly burnt.” Sources added.
Another source disclosed to The Union Nigeria that the fire ignited in the gas tank and swept through its environ.
“it was horrible. it was just like rain of fire. some persons were in their various homes when the fire torched them.”
He lamented however that more lives would have been saved if there was good emergency response.
“After the fire died down. some of the victims were in various strains of pain. Sadly, some persons, instead of giving help, were filming the victims.”
“I also learnt that emergency response at Agbor Central Hospital was not also good. some of the victims were transferred to University of Benin Teaching Hospital,” he added.
Police Confirms Incidence as Governor Visits Victims
When contacted for comment, the state police public relations officer, PPRO, Onome Onovwakpoyeya confirmed the incident.
She said, “yes, four persons confirmed dead, five houses burnt and five hospitalized.” PPRO said
Meanwhile the State governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa has paid a visit to the site of explosion.
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, on Saturday morning confirmed to The Union Nigeria that four persons died and no fewer than 11 hospitalised from burns following an explosion in a gas plant at Agbor on Friday.
He described the fire disaster as an unfortunate incident and announced that the State Government would pick the bill for medical treatment of the victims.
He said that the surviving patients were referred to a specialized centre for the treatment of burns at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) for further treatment because of the high degree of burns they sustained.
“It was an unfortunate fire incident involving a gas station where the tanker was trying to discharge gas.
“We have visited the place and the victims and we have seen the extent of damage caused by inferno.
“We lost four persons, three children and a woman.
“After my visit to the two families that lost their dear ones, I also visited the Central Hospital at Agbor where they were initially rushed to with varying degree 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 have to transfer them to the Federal Medical Centre Asaba and the University of Benin Teaching Hospital with 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 have full treatment,” he said.
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.
“I have listened and heard the complaints. Haven listened to the Medical Director and the extent to which they went, obviously the patients had severe and extensive burns.
“Any burn that is above 30 per cent is a major burn and we are talking about 80 to 90 per cent burns here.
“So they needed to be moved to UBTH, a specialised centre for the treatment of burns. When you have such a degree of burns many hospitals will not accept them because the survival rate is low,” Okowa explained.
On siting of gas plants at residential areas, he said that he would liaise with the State House of Assembly to come up with a law regulating such investments.
“Obviously its a sad situation and we thank God that this one wasn’t close to a densely populated area otherwise the damage would have been more.
“I have just told the member representing Ika South Constituency, Hon. Festus Okoh, that I am going to meet with the House of Assembly to enact a law to that effect,” he stated.