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Lagos tanker explosion: 3-yr-old Eyitayo, 2 Federal High Court staff missing

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By Evelyn Usman

Four days after the Lagos tanker explosion on Otedola Bridge, there is still uncertainty over the fate of some persons, as relatives and loved ones are still making effort to ascertain their conditions.

Vanguard gathered, yesterday, that two staff of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi—Maria Oke and Williams Ebenodi— are still missing as their colleagues had visited some of the hospitals where victims of the explosion were rushed to, without any sight of them.

The duo, alongside four other staff of the Federal High Court, were inside a white Mitsubishi Space Wagon car, heading home, when the tanker exploded.

Otedola bridge

Remains of private and commercial vehicles burnt as a result of tanker explosion on Otedola Bridge, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway on Thursday

In a related development, one of the twins, Eyitayo, involved in the incident alongside his mother, twin sister and the driver, is still missing.

Hours after the incident, a post with Eyitayo’s picture went viral on social media— informing the public that the boy and the driver could not be found.

“The boy in this picture is three-year-old Eyitayo,” read the post.

“He was involved in the unfortunate tanker explosion which occurred at Otedola Bridge, Berger, Lagos on June 28, with his mother, twin sister and driver named Mr. Joseph. They were a few cars away from the tanker when the explosion occurred.

“The driver (Mr. Joseph) carried Eyitayo while the mother escaped with Epitome (Eyitayo’s twin). However, the whereabouts of Eyitayo and Mr. Joseph is still unknown, as all attempts to trace them at the scene of the accident proved abortive.”

High Court staff

On the court staff, Vanguard learned that so far, four out of the six staff had been found. Three of them reportedly escaped unhurt, while the fourth person was said to still be receiving treatment at the hospital.

A woman, who identified herself as Maria Ojie, had on the day of the blast explained how she narrowly escaped death, disclosing also how one of the victims who was on fire battled to run for safety without luck.

However, it could not be ascertained if the survivor is the same person as the staff of the Federal High Court.

In a telephone conversation with Vanguard yesterday, a staff of the Federal High Court, Mrs Afolabi Folashade, said Williams drove the vehicle on the day.

She, therefore, appealed to members of the public to avail her or the Court with any information that could lead to the whereabouts of their colleagues, saying “we are particular about Maria, the survivor that was reported to have explained how she escaped.

“Anyone with information about her or Mr. Williams should please reach the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, or call 08062225481/08034311058.”

Missing Eyitayo

On Friday, a few persons wrote on social media that Eyitayo had been found. Efforts to reach Eyitayo’s mother on Saturday was abortive as her line was switched off.

An online newspaper reportedly got through with Funmi Balogun, Eyitayo’s aunt, yesterday, who said the boy was still missing.

“We have not found him,” Balogun answered in a weary tone. “One person posted that he has been found. We have not seen him.”

Contacted, Adebayo Kehinde, Head, Public Affairs Unit, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, said his office does not know the whereabouts of the boy.

Balogun had accused the officials of not telling them anything.

“We were there this morning again, nothing,” she said.

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