By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
At least, three additional bodies have been recovered from the rubbles at the scene of the Abule Ado explosion in Lagos by officials of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), increasing the death toll to 20 less than 24 hours after the tragedy occurred.
The Director-General of the Agency, Dr. Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, who made the disclosure had hinted yesterday that 17 bodies were recovered while 25 casualties were being treated for injuries sustained in the explosion.
The bodies were recovered minutes after Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Monday visited the scene, announced N2billion relief fund and inaugurated a 16-man committee to unravel causes of the explosion.
It was learned that emergency officials including Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) recovered the bodies from the rubbles of the building which collapsed following the explosion.
Officials of Bethlehem Girls College, after accessing the bodies, confirmed the identity of the corpses as workers who were rehabilitating the building before the explosion that ravaged the community.
At the site, other emergency officials carrying out rescue operations were Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), the Nigerian Red Cross, Police, Federal, and State Fire Service and Lagos State Neigbourhood Safety Corps (LNSC).
Earlier, Sanwo-Olu described the level of destruction in Abule Ado and Ado Soba as “monumental”, saying the resources to be appropriated in helping the victims to rebuild their lives were beyond what a single Government could undertake on its own.
He said: “The process of rebuilding this place is beyond what the Government, either at the national level or state, can also undertake on its own. Given the level of destruction, I am immediately setting up what I have called an Abule Ado/Ado Soba Emergency Relief Fund. It is a N2 billion relief fund and the state government will immediately be putting N250 million in that fund. Three banks have opened accounts for the Fund.
“Setting up this Fund is to give everybody the opportunity to be part of rebuilding this place and to be able to donate into it. The utilisation of funds, which will be headed by the Deputy Governor, will also be part of the responsibility that the fact-finding committee will be saddled with. To show our commitment to helping the victims recover, we have three bank account numbers already.
The relief funds, Sanwo-Olu said, would help the Lagos Government to offset the victims’ medical bills and re-settle displaced people before rebuilding activities start.
“Polaris Bank with the account number 4030017510, and name Abule Ado Emergency Relief Fund. Also, Zenith Bank, with the same account name the account number 1017184516 and Guaranty Trust (GT) Bank, with account number 0568615688. Well-meaning Nigerians and corporate organisations that wish to support us on this journey have any of these three banks to donate.”