About 20 bodies have been recovered so far from the scene of the fatal explosion that occurred in the Abule Ado area of Lagos on Sunday.
Emergency responders recovered three more bodies on Monday morning, in addition to 17 bodies that were earlier recovered, PREMIUM TIMES confirmed.
The excavator of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) is still at the scene pulling down partially collapsed structure at Bethlehem Girls College to aid the recovery process.
“Some of our staff are still missing, Kola Godfrey and Ari,” Emeka Ogbu, a maintenance staff at Bethlehem College told PREMIUM TIMES, urging the excavator to dig the collapsed security posts whether the men would be found under the rubble.
“This is a security post that collapsed, I’m sure if they excavate this place, they may see their bodies,” he said.
Mr Ogbu said his colleagues were caught in the explosion and efforts to reach them had failed.
Bethlehem Girls’ College
Bethlehem Girls’ College, a Catholic mission school located near the explosion site, was affected by the incident as the school lost its principal and other staff members.
“No student died, we have a platform and there has been no complaint from any parent that their children are missing till this morning,” the Vice Chairman of the Parents Teachers Association of the school said.
PREMIUM TIMES learnt that students and teachers of the college were attending a morning mass when the explosion occurred.
“Sister Henrietta rescued all the children, only a few sustained injuries and are at the hospital,” another parent said.
The parents who declined to give their names said they were at the school to hold a meeting and do a headcount to ensure no student was left unaccounted for.
The school hostel, refectory, exam hall and classrooms were destroyed by the explosion.
Mr Ogbu, the school’s maintenance engineer, said the Principal, Henrietta Aloha, shortly before the explosion rescued the children through the school farm, with the help of other teachers.
“She went back to check whether there was any student when the explosion occurred and the heat of the fire held her down,” he said.
Mrs Aloha’s corpse was one of those deposited at the Nigerian Navy Reference Hospital’s morgue.
Efforts are ongoing to recover the bodies of all the victims of the explosion.