Mysterious fire has burnt about 300 corpses kept in the mortuary of the Enugwu-Ukwu General Hospital, Enugwu-Ukwu in Anambra State, South East Nigeria. Relations of dead persons yesterday besieged the burnt mortuary, frantically searching for the bodies of their loved ones. Distressed relations, who came from Enugwu-Ukwu and neighboring communities, including Nri, wore mournful looks as they walked inside the completely burnt mortuary, trying to identify bodies of their dead relations which were burnt beyond recognition.
The wife of one of the deceased, Samuel, whose body was said to be among the burnt corpses, was surrounded by relations as she sobbed and struggled to enter the mortuary to see the burnt body of her husband, who was reportedly based in Badagry, Lagos before his death.
However, the woman was stopped in her attempt, while other relations went inside to inspect the burnt corpses, in a bid to identify the remains of their brother. There was the pathetic case of a man who went inside the burnt mortuary and came out very sober, saying he was at the mortuary on Friday to pick the body of his relation without success, only for him to learn yesterday that fire had burnt the entire facility, including the bodies that were deposited there by the bereaved families.
Similarly, there was also the case of a man who told those that accompanied him to the mortuary to search for the body of their dead sister, who had a problem with her husband. According to him, he does not know how he is going to come out of the mess created by the incident as there will be nobody of his sister to show his in-law. It was learned that the fire, whose cause was still unknown, started about three o’clock on Saturday afternoon. It completely burnt the mortuary building, all the about 300 bodies that were deposited there, as well as the mortuary utility vehicle, all of which were burnt beyond redemption.
It was also learned that the state Governor, Willie Obiano, yesterday visited the hospital to see the extent of the destruction caused by the fire disaster. Meanwhile, the Enugwu- Ukwu town union has reacted to the incident. “We sympathize with those who have corpses of their loved ones there. We, therefore, call on the government to get to the root of this problem and come to the aid of those who are affected by this inferno,” the town said.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Haruna Mohammed, said the police command had launched an investigation to unravel the cause of the fire.