Health

Ibadan Explosion: Terrified manager of popular hotel dies of heart attack

Ibadan, explosion

…Rescue efforts end, as forensic analysis starts

BY STEPHEN GBADAMOSI

After last Tuesday’s explosion in Ibadan, the management of a popular hotel in Bodija area of the capital city of Oyo State, BON Hotel Nest, has announced the passing of its Operations Manager, Mr. Tunde Solomon.

Mr. Solomon was said to have died of heart attack after the shock from the explosion that occurred very near to the hotel where he worked.

Recall that the explosion occurred at Dejo Oyelese Street, Adeyi Avenue and reportedly claimed five lives as of Thursday, with over 77 people injured and about 58 buildings destroyed.

While mourning, Mr. Solomon via the hotel’s Instagram page, bonhotelibadan, the management described the late Operations Manager as a selfless and dedicated worker who had been using his 25 years in the industry for the growth of organisation.

“We regret to inform you of the sudden passing of our beloved Operations Manager, Mr. Tunde Solomon. Mr. Solomon suffered a heart attack on the 17th of January 2024 and it is believed that it was a consequence of the explosion which occurred on the 16th of January 2024 at Bodija.

“Mr. Solomon was a vastly experienced member of staff with more than 25 years in the industry. His commitment to his role and his contributions to the growth of BON

Hotel Nest, Ibadan and the BON Group in general during his tenure were invaluable.

“His loss leaves a void that will be deeply felt by all who had the privilege of working alongside him. We extend our heartfelt condolences to Mr. Solomon’s family during this difficult time.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with them, as they navigate through this challenging period,” the hotel said.

Only on Thursday, the state government, through the Chief Security Officer to the Governor, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, a retired Commissioner of Police, said the death toll from the explosion had risen.

With this development, resident who were expressing sympathy with the popular BON Hotel, said it was safe to say that six people had so far died from the incident.

Meanwhile some body parts which were recovered from the site of last Tuesday explosion in Bodija area of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, on Friday, are to be subjected to forensic analysis.

The Incident Manager for the Emergency Response, Professor Temitope Alonge, disclosed this in an interview with journalists on Friday, saying there was necessity for forensic expert for analysis.

“The issue on the ground is that the moment you find a body part around an area, the chances are that probably, it is coming from the same person. But we can’t confirm or dispute until we have our forensic. We have just sent the entire details to the Forensic pathologist; and so, hopefully, we will be getting an answer, but not immediately.

“It’s not something they do within 24 hours; it is going to take a little while, because it will be a matter of DNA testing and trying to cross-breed what has been found. Apart from that, the corpse of another dog was found.

“It has also been packaged for forensic for assessment by the veterinary pathologist,” he said.

Alonge also ruled out the possibility of recovering more bodies or anyone still being alive, because the entire place had been flattened, disclosing that the search and rescue efforts should get to ground zero in another 48 hours.

He noted that the search was not restricted to the epicentre alone, as the major concern were the houses that were in bad shape, saying the occupants of the houses had been counseled and given reasons they should not go into buildings that had not been given a clean bill of health, because the Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE) was still busy working on the integrity test of the buildings.

“Until they certify a house to be fit, I don’t think it is appropriate for them to go in. Well, quite a large number of them are compliant; but there are a few of them that refused to listen to good counsel and we note those houses.

“So, if there are consequences on account of what they have done, I believe that the government will be exonerated. Again, the integrity test is not only within the epicentre, but it is also extended beyond there,” he stated.

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In another development, the Chief Justice of Nigeria ((CJN), Justice Kayode Ariwoola, has paid a visit to the explosion site Friday evening.

While speaking with journalists, Ariwoola lamented that what he saw was devastating and prayed that God would take care of everything and help the government to assist the families affected by the explosion.

“What I have seen is devastating. I don’t know who can explain this, but God says He knows it all. God knew it before it happened; and only God will take care of everything. We cannot say government should come and do it, but God will assist the government to assist all the families affected,” he said.

The CJN also visited a former deputy governor of the state, Barrister Iyiola Oladokun, and a legal luminary, Chief Niyi Akintola, SAN, whose houses were affected in the explosion.

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