DANA AIR CRASH: Survivors abandoned, left homeless

Rescue efforts continued at the site of the Dana Air crash, Monday, with some residents who barely escaped with their lives watching the bulldozer sift through the rubble in search of dead bodies.

Police dogs also assisted as a team of rescue officers patiently combed the area where the aircraft plunged into the building.

"We buy things from those our neighbours," said Olatunji Lawal, whose house stands opposite the crushed building. 

The neighbours he was referring to have not been seen since the accident.

"When it happened, everybody ran away. I don't know if they also ran," he added.

DANA AIR CRASH: Survivors abandoned, left homeless

'A terrible sound'

Mr. Lawal said that he was sleeping in his room after the Sunday church service when he heard "a terrible sound."

"The sound shook the foundation of the house. I thought maybe there was a volcanic eruption or something terrible happening," said Mr. Lawal.

"My friend came to my room and grabbed my hand and rushed me out of the house and we ran."

Daniel Omowunmi and his family - wife, three kids, aged mother, two sisters, and a house help - were in church when they heard about the accident.

"I was in church when they called me and I came and when I saw it, it's beyond repair," said Mr. Omowunmi, who owned the building where the aircraft plunged into.

Mr. Omowunmi said that the compound where his house, a six bedroom duplex with a pent house, was built also accommodated a six room bungalow, four fish ponds, and two warehouses filled with kitchen utensils, books, and furniture equipment.

"The only thing left for me and my family now are the things we went to church with," he added.

DANA AIR CRASH: Survivors abandoned, left homeless

There was a heavy presence of army and police officers around the accident scene, Monday, and vehicles were barred from all the access routes. 

Locals were also kept hundreds of metres away.
 
A putrid odour of decomposing bodies hung in the air as the Julius Berger crane noisily ravaged a mixture of concrete and moist earth.

Simeon Ohwofa, whose cousin lived in the crushed building, said that the loss would be bearable if the accident was unavoidable.

"We appreciate that there are air crashes all over the world," said Mr. Ohwofa, whose cousin, Stafford Obushie, dealt in rubber.

"If it happens due to weather conditions and all of that, people can understand.

"But if eventually it is found out that it had to do with poor maintenance, then it's a pity," Mr. Ohwofa said.

Looking for shelter

Femi Oke-Osanyintolu of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency who visited the site earlier in the day said that those who had been rendered homeless by the incident will be evacuated to the state's relief camp in Agbowa, near Ikorodu. 

"If you are saying 'go to Agbowa', how do we go to Agbowa?" Mr. Lawal asked.

"Not that I prefer to stay here, because as you can see, this building is already weak.

"The government has mentioned that but we've not seen anybody coming to collect names or to come and take the statistics of the number of people affected."

Most of the residents whose buildings were directly - or indirectly - affected by the crash had looked for shelter elsewhere.

Mr. Omowunmi said that he had moved his family to Ota.

Olakunle Olanipekun, who lives next door to Mr. Lawal said he slept in church on Sunday night.

"The next thing for us is to move out of this place," Mr. Lawal said.

"But I don't have a place to go."
DANA AIR CRASH: Survivors abandoned, left homeless

 


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