Dana Air plane crash – I went to fetch water, came back to see my brother in pieces
It was a chilling and gory scene when a man residing in one of the buildings where the ill-fated Dana plane crashed spoke on how he miraculously escaped death because he went to fetch water at a nearby borehole.
But unfortunately, he came back to meet his younger brother, whom he had left inside the room to fetch the water, in pieces as the plane hid ripped him open.
Mr Abayomi Adeolu, elder brother of one of the dead victims at the house at No 41, Akande Street, off Popoola Street, said, “I left the house a few minutes earlier to fetch water, only to return to the chilling sight of my brother’s scattered body parts, alongside those of two girls from another flat.
“I saw my brother in pieces. He was dead. He was totally dead. I only went out to fetch water at a nearby borehole, but I came back to meet him and others dead. I have no one now,” he wailed.
“We have been searching the wreckage of the plane crash since morning but cannot find our parents. We left them at home yesterday evening but cannot see them anymore, please help us.”
These were the words of three children of the same parents, Joel Okechukwu (11); Chisom Okechukwu (9) and Esther Okechukwu (7), at the site of Sunday’s Dana Airline plane crash at Iju/Ishaga area of Lagos.
According to the children, who identified their parents as Mr Jeremiah Okechukwu and Mrs Josephine Okechukwu, the family lives at 12 Olaniyi Street, Iju, one of the houses affected by the plane crash.
They said that their parents had sent them on an errand shortly before the tragic plane crash but were astonished to see their house covered in smoke when they returned from the task.
The children, who were obviously confused and traumatised and were still unsure of the whereabouts of their parents, said they spent the night with neighbours but returned to the site early in the morning hoping to locate them.
“But, since we have come here, our parents are yet to show up,” they mumbled with their eyes heavily laden with tears.
The site of the crash was crowded with sympathisers, some of whom had come to pick valuables belonging to the victims and in this condition, the Okechukwu siblings were hoping to see their parents.
However, the visit of the state governor, Mr Baba-tunde Fashola, on Monday, created a solace for the children, as he personally took custody of them.
Fashola, moved by the plight of the children, took them in one of the vehicles in his convoy to the State House, Ikeja.
The children later gave the name of one of their relations, Tony Okwuchu-kwu, whom they said was their uncle and who, by their account, lived in Abuja.
A help line, 08023414111, had been opened at the Lagos State Television (LTV), on Lateef Jakande Road, Ikeja, to enable anybody who knows the children, including their uncle, Okwuchukwu, to contact the state government with sufficient proof, in order to reunite the children with their parents and relations.