- According to police, the children, aged four to six years old, likely mistakenly locked themselves inside the abandoned car while playing.
- The car belonged to a deceased retired employee of Lagos State University.
- Police say the car was forced open by one of the children, a grand-child of the owner.
By MOHAMMED MOMOH
Nigerian police say eight children were found dead in a parked car in Olorunda, Lagos state.
The vehicle was parked inside a compound at Adelayo Street, Agunaje in Badagry Expressway.
According to police, the children, aged four to six years old, likely mistakenly locked themselves inside the abandoned car while playing.
The car belonged to a deceased retired employee of Lagos State University.
Police say the car was forced open by one of the children, a grand-child of the owner.
The other seven minors also resided in the same area.
“The other seven kids are children of Bureau De Change operators living in the community. The children forced the door of the vehicle open, entered and closed it. There was no ventilation and nobody knew something was wrong,” Mr Suru Avoseh, Commissioner, Lagos State Civil Service Commission, told local media.
“They suffocated and died. It wasn’t a kidnapping incident or any foul play by anyone. It is unfortunate,” he added.
The Lagos state commissioner of police, Mr Hakeem Odumosu, has ordered a thorough and speedy investigation into the circumstances surrounding their death.
A resident, Mr Kareem Olaniyi, said the incident came as a surprise to the people because the scene was a place where the children play football.
“Children usually gather here most times and play football and we have not experienced this kind of situation…I believe that the community leaders must have reported the matter to the police because no one can say exactly how it happened,” he said.
Another resident, Mr Adetayo Ojo, said: “What surprised everyone is that the gate of the house is hardly open. Any time we pass through this street, the gate is always locked. How did the gate open on this day for eight children to go in there to play and die?”
The medical director, Badagry General Hospital, Dr Tunde Bakare, said the children were brought dead to the hospital.
“While we told them to leave them so that we could carry out autopsy, one of the Muslim clerics who followed them disagreed with our staff and said burial should not exceed Saturday.
“Unfortunately, the police that brought the corpses supported the cleric, so we had to release the corpses to them,’’ Dr Bakare said.