Death of 5 Abuja Children not Caused by Electricity-AEDC
Abuja Electricity Distribution (AEDC) company has distanced itself from the unfortunate inferno which claimed the lives of five children in Mpape area of Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Saturday, April 1, 2017.
The Company, in a statement signed by Ahmed Shekarau, Head of Public Relations & Media said, while it expresses its deepest sympathy with the family of the deceased, the AEDC management deemed it necessary to state clearly that public power supply was not the cause of the deaths, contrary to the impression created in the media.
AEDC said that the report of a preliminary investigation carried out by a fact-finding team it sent to Mpape on Monday, April 3, 2017, revealed that the accident was caused by an explosion from a fuel container taken into the room where the inferno occurred.
Furthermore, records from the AEDC control room in the area revealed that the area had no electricity supply at the time of the inferno, due to load shedding.
According to the fact-finding team’s report, the mother of the five deceased had sent one of her children to buy petrol for use in the generator set because, at that time, the area had no AEDC supply due to load shedding. Upon return, the child took the fuel into the room in which the five deceased children were sleeping. Because of the saturation of petrol fumes in that room, when the woman lit up a match stick in order to light up a mosquito coil in a bid to wade off mosquitoes, the flame ignited an explosion which engulfed the room.
The AEDC stressed further that some neighbours of the affected family attested to this finding in separate interviews they granted to its fact-finding team. According to one of the neighbours of the family (name withheld), “at about 9pm that day, there was an outage in the whole area and the mother of the deceased sent one of her children to go and buy petrol. Unfortunately, the boy took the fuel into their room. Shortly after, the mother lit up a match in order to light up a mosquito coil to ward off mosquitoes from their room”.
A neighbour of the family equally explained that electricity supply was not restored to the neighbourhood throughout the night of the incident, thereby confirming that the unfortunate inferno that led to the death of the five children was not caused by electricity.