A 30-year-old welder, simply identified as Alabi Quadri, has reportedly died, while four others were hospitalised as a result of varying degrees of injury sustained during a fire incident in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, on Saturday.
An eyewitness told The PUNCH correspondent that Quadri died early hours of Sunday at the University College Hospital, Ibadan, where he was rushed.
Investigation further revealed that four others sustained serious injuries and they were currently at UCH; Oyo Mesi Specialist Hospital, Orogun; and Hamdalat Hospital, Ojoo, all within the Ibadan metropolis.
The inferno, which occurred in the Badmus area, opposite Agbala Daniel Church, on Ojoo-Iwo-Road, in the Akinyele Local Government Area of the state, was said to have been caused by a gas explosion, and it also burnt down about six trailers within the workshop.
One of the affected mechanics, Segun Ajiboye said, “Two people, Quadri and Joshua Kayode were rushed to the UCH while Ibrahim Rasheed and Saheed Rasheed (brothers) were rushed to the Oyo Mesi Specialist Hospital at Orogun, during the fire incident. Another person, Owoseni Ajala was rushed to Hamdalat Hospital, Ojoo. All of them are responding to the treatment except Quadri who gave up the ghost this morning (Sunday).
He further confirmed that about six trailers were affected, out of which three belong to his customers.
“I am a trailer mechanic. I do convert trailers’ steering from right to left. We called it ‘righty.’ The fire occurred at our workshop in the Badmus area. No shop was burnt down. It affected six trailers (DAF). There was one trailer we had already finished, and the owner promised to come around today (Sunday) to pick it up, it was also affected.
“I was not in the shop when the incident happened. I went to the Automated Teller Machine at Ojoo to get some cash when I received a call that fire had gutted some trailers in our shop. I quickly rushed back and before I could get there, about six vehicles had already been affected. Three were burnt down in my stand.
“We are many in that garage. We have a welder, panel beater, tuner, and many others. According to what they told me when I returned from the ATM gallery, the fire started about three cars to my own stand (shop). The late Quadri was using a generating set to work on a vehicle because there was no light, so he used it to power his machine. There was another person next to him using oxygen and gas but unknown to them, the pipe of that oxygen had burst somewhere. So, it catches fire suddenly.” Ajiboye explained.
In a related development, goods worth millions of naira were lost to an overnight fire incident that occurred at Sango market in the Ibadan North Local Government Area of the state.
The fire, which was said to have been caused by the electric surge, burnt about 24 shops in the market.
Some affected shop owners expressed their challenges in rebuilding the shops and start-up businesses, lamenting that that’s their sole source of livelihood.
Traders conveyed their shock at the extensive damage caused by the fire, describing the calamity as overwhelming and unbearable.
When contacted, the General Manager of the state Fire Service, Yemi Akinyinka, confirmed the two fire outbreaks. He, however, added that he did not have much information on the Badmus inferno until he got back to the office on Monday.
“I did not have much information on that Badmus incident until tomorrow (Monday) when I get back to the office.”
On Sango market, he said about 24 shops were affected.
“Yes, about 24 shops were affected, according to our officers who went for a rescue operation.” He stated.
As of press time, all efforts to get the state Police Public Relations Officer, Adewale Osifeso’s reactions, were not successful as his mobile number was not reachable.
Property worth millions of naira was also burnt down last Monday at Ire Akari Estate, Soka in the Ibadan South-East Local Government Area of the state, when one of the occupants of a furniture shop was burning refuse and sawdust within the premises.