Over 400 corpses have been burnt in a fire inc dent at the mortuary section of the General Hospital, Onitsha, Anambra State.
A worker in the hospital said, “it was a mystery fire. I’m suspecting that some angry ghosts must have done this. A day before this incident, we came to work to discover that no fewer than 10 corpses were brought outside by unknown persons.
“My experience as a mortician shows that these corpses can be angry and act as if they are alive. They fight themselves here every night. We hear their noise.
“About this particular incident, I’m sure that some of them that were angry set that mortuary ablaze, becausethereisnowaythat mortuary can catch fire without these people (dead persons). “What you should know is that any dead person who has not been officially buried and a funeral per
formed, his spirit hovers and acts like any of us living. They can be angry; they can be happy; they do anything you and I can do. Sometimes, we hear them sing choruses; sometimes they quarrel amongst themselves.
They even cook. We see a lot of things here. “Some of them who have overstayed here without being claimed by their relations act funny. I strongly believe those of them in that class must have done this,” the mortician stated. The fire, which lasted about three hours on Sunday, razed the mortuary building located behind the hospital facility. The fire was said to have emanated from a burning bush behind the morgue. It was gathered that when the fire started, mortuary attendants
poured water mixed with detergent to douse the flame. However, when the fire escalated, they called the state fire service. When our correspondent visited thescenesameSunday, itwasagory sight, as families who deposited corpses in the mortuary lamented the situation. Some, who had come to carry their corpses for burial, burst into tears when they saw that the mortuary was in ruins.
One of them, Charles Ozor, said, “We came to take the corpse of a community member for burial only for us to see that the corpses in the morgue had been burnt beyond recognition. We are confused; we don’t know what to do.” Aneyewitness, whodidnotwant to be identified, recalled that someone had cleared the bush behind the morgue and set it on fire.
He said, “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. “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.” Anauxiliaryworker, whodidnot mention her name said the morgue had been contracted to a private operator.