About 400 corpses have been reported to have been burnt in a fire incident which occurred at the mortuary section of the General Hospital, Onitsha, Anambra State.
The reports received indicated that the fire, which started from a burning bush behind the morgue lasted for about three hours razing the mortuary building located behind the hospital facility.
An eyewitness report stated that, “The bush is a bit far from the mortuary. But before we knew what was happening, we saw that the roof of the mortuary had caught fire. There were over 400 corpses inside the building. The entire place was engulfed in fire. Before firefighters came, the fire had caused a lot of damage; most of the corpses were burnt to ashes and some beyond recognition.”
He further said “The firefighters battled to stop the fire from escalating to other buildings. In fact, the water in their tank finished; they had to go and refill elsewhere because the hospital does not have a water facility on its premises.”
The morgue operator, was also reported to have said, “I had gone to Awka to bring some corpses. While I was there, I was informed about the fire on the phone and I rushed down immediately. Before I arrived here, the fire had done a lot of damage.”
“The fire burnt both fresh and abandoned corpses packed inside the morgue. The chemicals we used in preserving the corpses must have aggravated the fire. The chemicals are highly inflammable and they burn faster than fuel.”
Reports received also stated that burnt corpses were seen littered around the vicinity of the morgue.