The Cross River Government has donated medical equipment to the emergency ward of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH) to aid the victims of the fuel tanker explosion.
The equipment included cartons of intravenous fluids, hand sanitizers, wound dressing equipment among others.
The State Commissioner for Health, Dr Inyang Asibong, who donated the equipment to the hospital on Saturday in Calabar, described the incident as `tragic and sudden’.
Some people were confirmed dead on Friday night at Odukpani local government area when an explosion occurred while they were scooping fuel from a fallen tanker laden with petroleum product.
Asibong said that the visit to the hospital was to access the situation and donate the equipment for the treatment of the survivors.
She explained that as soon as the victims were brought into the hospital, the ministry had to mobilise its personnel to join their colleagues in the UCTH to respond timely to the victims.
“We don’t have the exact number of casualty at the moment, but I know that we have lost a dozen of them due to the explosion.
“As a state, we are sad over the death of dozens of persons who lost their lives while trying to scoop fuel from a fallen tanker at Odukpani.
“People must stop the act of scooping fuel whenever a tanker falls in their area. Many persons have died in the past through this.
“We would do everything possible as a state to make sure that we don’t lose these ones,” she said.
The commissioner commiserated with the families of those that lost their lives, praying that the survivors that are currently receiving treatment should not lose their lives.
She advised residents of the state to always call on competent authorities to manage such emergency cases.
Prof. Thomas Agan, the Chief Medical Director of UCTH, said in an interview that 18 persons were brought into the hospital on Friday night.
Agan explained that out of the 18 victims, 15 were adults while three were children, adding that one victim died on arrival while another one died later at night.
“As we speak, we have 16 victims in our facility. 18 victims were brought in for treatment and two of them have died.
“The 16 victims are fairly stable. We need support from corporate bodies, individuals and groups because we have exhausted our internal consumables,” he said.