One of the victims of the Saturday night fire that gutted houses, shops and vehicles at Molete area of Ibadan has passed on at the burns unit of the University College Hospital, Ibadan, where he was taken to for treatment.
Public Relations Officer of the hospital, Ayodeji Bobade, told our correspondent who visited the unit on Monday that the 40-year-old man, who sustained first degree burns in the disaster, died in the early hours of Monday.
“I cannot give the name of the victim now but I can confirm to you that the man who was 40-years-old, died overnight. He sustained serious injuries in the fire and efforts to save his life were not successful because of the extent of the burns. We are battling to ensure others survive,” he said.
The death brought the casualty figure to 13 after 11 people died at the scene of the incident and one more victim died the night he was taken to the UCH. An eight-year-old girl was among the victims of the fire incident.
At the burns unit of the hospital, relatives were seen hanging around awaiting report on the state of health of their loved ones. Some of them said they were going to donate blood for their relatives who were receiving treatment.
One of those at the lobby of the unit was Alhaja Oyetunde Adesokan, whose sister, Kafilat Olatunji, 45, was in critical condition.
Narrating how her sister, who is a widow, was caught in the fire, Adesokan said Olatunji was coming from Lagos to see her children in Ibadan on the night she fell victim.
“She is my immediate younger sister. She sustained serious burns from head to toe; only her hair and part of her face were not seriously affected. I could hardly recognise her. The hospital is doing its best but it is too early to say how she is responding to treatment.
“She was coming from Lagos and she alighted from a bus, awaiting another bus to Idi-Arere when she was caught in the fire. We were expecting her at home that night but when we did not hear from her again, we called her phone but it was switched off.
“Because we knew that there was a fire around the area where she was to take a bus home, we rushed there but she was not among the dead. We came to the UCH and found her. Her husband is dead and she was trading at the Somolu area of Lagos to take care of the four children who live in Ibadan.”
Adesokan said the families of victims spent so much money to buy drugs on Sunday until they were told by the Oyo State government representatives who visited the hospital to keep their receipts and stop buying drugs for treatment.
“We thank Governor Abiola Ajimobi who sent representatives through the council authorities that the state would be responsible for their hospital bills. His gesture is highly commendable. Some of the materials have been wheeled into the ward,” she said.
Meanwhile, traders whose shops and goods were burnt in the inferno have called on the state government to come to their aid as it would be difficult for them to bounce back from the disaster.
The Iyaloja of Molete Market, where 45 shops were burnt, Alhaja Iswat Oyinlola, said the traders would welcome support from the state government because of the huge extent of the disaster which she said would be too much to shoulder by the traders.