The death toll of the fire outbreak that occurred at Linc Oil and Gas depot in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, Sunday morning, has increased to 10 from nine.
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hafiz Inuwa, had confirmed that nine persons died as a result of the inferno.
During a visit to the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, UCHT, Chief Medical Director, Dr Thomas Agan, disclosed that 10 of the victims had so far died.
He said: “Six were brought in dead. Eleven were managed with between 50 and 90 percent burns, which is quite extensive. Four of them are dead and seven are alive, with various degrees of burns.”
While appealing for support to take care of the victims, Dr. Agan said: “We had to use all we had to ensure that they are kept alive. Our consumables are now exhausted.”
A survivor of the explosion in hospital.
According to him, the cost of having patients with 60-90 degrees burns in the hospital was expensive.
According to him, “we need massive assistance, not only from the Federal Government, but from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and all the facilities involved in this matter.”
One of the victims, Mr. Asuquo Okon, said he was looking up to God for survival and appealed for assistance from individuals and organisations.
Meanwhile, the Managing Director of the Nigeria Export Processing Zone Authority, NEPZA, Mr. Emmanuel Jime, yesterday, donated N2 million for the treatment of survivors of the fire incident.
Jime, who visited the victims yesterday, lauded the hospital for their effort to keep the survivors alive.
Another survivor in hospital.
He said: “In the face of daunting challenges, this hospital has done well by rising to the occasion and so far lives have been saved.
“So far, we have lost 10 lives already. Others are still in bad shape, but because of the professionalism on display by this hospital, we are prayerful and hopeful we can save lives.
“As an authority, there is little we can do, but we have decided we will extend a token of support so that, as much as possible, some of the materials required can be taken care of.
“So as we leave, I have directed the Head of the Calabar Free Trade Zone to initiate the process of raising some funding. At present time, we believe we can offer N2 million to support what is going on here.
“We will keep liaising with them. Our desire is to see that the seven who are still left are able to go back home to their loved ones and to their family.”
He said investigation will be launched and if anyone is found culpable, such a person will be sanctioned, according to the law, by NEPZA.