The incident, Sunday Sun learnt, happened at about 4.50 am when mudslide which was washed down by yesterday‘s early morning rain collapsed on part of the three bedroom bungalow apartment located at No 50 Otun Araromi Street, Orisa-Magodo, behind Magodo Phase I.
The mudslide collapsed on the children’s room and submerged the four who were still sleeping when the incident happened. None of the children survived the tragedy. They had all died in the debris before rescue assistance could come.
The victims included 23-year-old Sayo Odia, Clinton Odia (13), Dasilva Odia (15), and Endurance Odia (10), all children of Mr. Okeoseye Odia. Sayo, the eldest of the four children, was said to be preparing for the Joint Admission and Matriculation Examination (JAMB) next year
Mr. Odia’s two wives, Sunday Sun learnt, lost children each in the incident. Although ten members of the family were said to be in the house at the time of the incident, seven of them escaped with varying degrees of injuries as the mudslide only affected the children’s apartment.
The survivors included: the father of the deceased children, his two wives, one of who was said to have been hospitalized and three other younger children who slept in a separate room. As Sunday Sun gathered, the other two lucky children were said to be in school when the incident happened.
The chairman, Otun Araromi Community Development Association, Mr Oshinyokun Olowo, told Sunday Sun that members of the community mobilized immediately the incident happened and recovered corpse of one of the children before the arrival of government agencies.
The Lagos State Fire Service, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) and Nigerian Police from Magodo and Isheri Police stations, it was learnt, responded quickly to the emergency.
According to LASEMA boss, four dead bodies were recovered after digging through the sand.
The General Manager of LASEMA, Mr. Micheal Akindele, who described the incident as unfortunate, said that government would not relent on its advocacy and sensitization campaign to ensure that people living in flood prone areas take precautionary measures especially in areas where topography is a low line.
Similar tragedy was averted when another mudslide occurred some six plots away from the site of the first incident at about 10.05 am. No casualty was, however, recorded in the second building.
The four recovered bodies have since been buried at a cemetery in the community.
But for the vigilance of his neighbours who pursued and restrained him, the bereaved father, yesterday made spirited attempts to plunge into a nearby canal following the death of his four sons.
When Sunday Sun visited the scene of the incident yesterday, the obviously distraught father of nine was apparently hysterical about the fate that had befallen his household while he was narrating his ordeal. “I thought God would even spare one of them for me. But they came to tell me that none of them is alive. I am finished! Four sons at a time! I was preparing to go to work when I heard the sound. By the time I came out of the room to check, my four sons had been submerged,” he lamented
Meanwhile, residents of Otun Araromi community have blamed the incident on residents of Magodo Phase 1 Estate whom they claimed channeled a major drainage from the estate into their community.
Speaking in an interview with Sunday Sun, Chairman Otun- Araromi, Mr. Oshinyokun Olowo, accused the residents of Magodo Phase 1 Estate of channeling water from the estate into their community, which he claimed was responsible for the incident. “The people up there, (residents of Magodo Estate) caused the problem. They diverted all the waters from the estate into our community because they are rich and they feel they can oppress us,” he said.
Reacting to the allegation, Alhaji Olaiya Oladeji, a community leader in the estate, denied the allegation against residents of Magodo Estate. According to him, “Residents of the Otun Araromi are responsible for this problem. They are in the habit of digging the sand behind the estate to extend their land in order to expand their buildings. Most of the buildings you see in the community started with fewer rooms, but majority of them have extended their buildings by reclaiming more space from the area behind them.”