Anambra State Government has denied reports that over 400 corpses were burnt over the weekend following a fire incident at the Onitsha General Hospital.
The fire incident which happened over the weekend, was alleged by some national dailies to have claimed over 400 lives.
Insinuations were also rife on social media that the mortuary section of the government-owned hospital was set ablaze by angry youths over the alleged sharp practices of some morticians working at the section.
It was alleged that the said morticians were in the habit of dismembering dead bodies and selling the parts.
Another version also had it that the fire was caused by a bush fire that extended to the mortuary section while yet another said the fire was from an electric spark.
The State Commissioner for Health, Dr Vincent Okpala in a chat with TNC correspondent in his office in Awka, while describing the incident as very unfortunate, said government is conducting investigation to find out what actually happened.
He said contrary to media reports that over 400 corpses were burnt in the fire, only about 30 corpses were counted after the fire.
“We are still accessing the situation but so far, only 30 corpses were counted.
“We are grateful to the State fire service for their prompt intervention that ensured that the fire did not extend to other parts of the hospital.
“We want to urge the public to be mindful of the kind of information they spread especially during unfortunate incidents as these,” he said.
On the insinuations that the place was burned down because of some foul play by the morticians at the hospital, Dr Okpala said such stories are fallacies.