A man whose 12 relations suffered severe burns in the Thursday, July 4 Ijegun pipeline fire has organised special sacrifice and prayers for the surviving victims.
The family spokesman said they resorted to sacrifice and prayers after four of the 12 victims had died.
The prayers, he said, were to stave off further deaths and to secure divine healing for the 12 victims comprising his brother, Shakiru Mondiu; his wife, their three children, six grand children and one other unidentified family member.
Speaking for the family, Kehinde Mondiu, a double amputee who is wheelchair-bound, said the prayers became imperative in view of the fact that he had expended all his savings on treating his relations, some of whom suffered severe burns in the incident.
Fire broke out on July 4, after the Police had intercepted some hoodlums who were siphoning fuel from a vandalised pipelines of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation in Ijegun area of Lagos.
Showing our Correspondent the Islamic clerics and family members who had gathered to seek divine intervention for the injured relations, Kehinde said the family had faith that miraculous prayers and sacrifice would preserve the eight remaining survivors.
Speaking to our Correspondent, Kehinde disclosed that 12 members of his brother’s family were caught in the inferno that engulfed Ijegun early July.
“There were 12 of them in the house. My brother’s (Shakiru) children had paid him a visit — his first two children had visited him with their own six children. Also in tow was his last child, a young lady named Zainab.
“They had visited my brother and their mother. But when the fire broke out, my brother didn’t know where any of them was,” Kehinde narrated.
He said after several calls to his brother, someone informed him that his brother and his family had sustained injuries in the pipeline fire.
He said on reaching the scene, he and others took his 12 relations to the New Dimension Hospital in Ijegun, where the doctors accepted to admit three of them who they concluded would be unable to make the rigorous journey to Gbagada General Hospital.
He said the hospital also arranged an ambulance, which conveyed the remaining nine family members that New Dimension Hospital had rejected to Gbagada General Hospital.
Continuing, Kehinde said, “On Saturday (July 6), my brother’s wife and their first child [his niece] died of their injuries.
“The following day, a Sunday, my brother’s last child (Zainab) and a grandchild (Taye) also died.
“So far, five of them are struggling for survival in Gbagada General Hospital, with three others still lying critically ill at New Dimension Hospital.”
Detailing why they decided to employ prayer and sacrifice, Kehinde said, “I and other family members have expended all we have and we are tired.
“With four dead relations already, we’ve had more than enough deaths in the family, especially because three of them were quite young.
“And that’s why we called Islamic clerics to come and do sacrifice and pray for divine mercy so that those still on the hospital bed will recover and not die.”
Kehinde appealed to the government to come to the family’s aid, saying that without government assistance, hope is dim for the remaining eight members of his brother’s family.
The PUNCH reported that the Lagos State Ministry of Health had said that 10 victims of the Ijegun pipeline explosion died because they suffered almost 100 per cent degree burns.
The Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr. Titilayo Goncalves, said the survivors were receiving treatment at designated government facilities free of charge.
Gonclaves, during a visit to the victims at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital on Monday, July 8, said the state government was providing best care to the survivors to ensure their full recovery.
She explained that out of the 22 victims rescued by the Lagos State Ambulance Service, nine were taken to LASUTH, 12 to the Trauma and Burns Unit of the Gbagada General Hospital, and one to the Alimosho General Hospital.
The permanent secretary said while three of the victims died at LASUTH, seven have so far died at the Gbagada General Hospital.
She said, “Unfortunately, due to the high degree of burns suffered by these victims, which is almost at 100 per cent, 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 might to provide intensive care for the remaining (survivors) and from reports received, they are responding to treatment.
“Treatment of victims with 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,” Goncalves stated.
The Chief Medical Director, LASUTH, Dr Adetokunbo Fabamwo, stated that the teaching hospital and its annex, Trauma and Burns Unit, Gbagada General Hospital, was providing care and support to aid quick recovery of survivors.
“LASUTH alone has expended about N6m 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,” Fabamwo said.
He advised families of victims not to liaise with any non-hospital staff and to report any case of extortion or ill treatment by any person to his office or call him on 08037787788 or the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health on 08023049478.
For the Mondiu family who appeared to have taken their injured relations to Gbagada General Hospital through private efforts, succour is yet to come, as the family spokesman, double amputee wheelchair-bound Kehinde Mondiu claimed that the family has been solely responsible for their injured members’ upkeep.