Mrs Oluwayemisi Oluwole, the landlady of one the two buildings affected by the ill-fated Bell 206 that crashed on Salvation Road, Opebi, Ikeja, Lagos State, has said she has been barred from sleeping in her house due to the impact of the crash.
The 77-year-old woman spoke on Saturday when the state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, visited the scene of the crash.
The helicopter, which took off from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, crashed into the fence in-between the two houses at 16A, Salvation Road, about two minutes to land at Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja.
All the three crew members on board – identified as Captain Chika Ernest, Macaulay Brownson and Clement Ndiok – died in the crash.
Oluwole said she had been barred from sleeping in her house, and pleaded with Sanwo-Olu to assist in fixing the damage on time.
She said, “I thank God for what happened because there was nobody in the apartment affected by the crash. We thank God that the helicopter didn’t land on top of the house.
“I hope somebody will come and assess the degree of the damage and that should be done quickly because I have not entered the house since yesterday because I have been barred from entering the house.
“Since yesterday (Friday), a lot of people have come here without observing any COVID-19 protocols. In my house now, I can count 20 face masks on the floor. So, I want to appeal to government to come and help us to sanitise the place.”
Sanwo-Olu promised Oluwole and other affected residents that the state government would carry out integrity test on the structures and do the necessary repairs.
The governor also sympathised with the families of the late crew members and prayed that God should comfort them.
He said, “I am here to do a real on-the-spot assessment and I have seen things for myself. We thank God that as painful as the incident might be, the damage was not beyond what we have witnessed. We are pained by the death of the three people on board, but we thank God because it could have been worse than that.
“The affected buildings are residential homes that have citizens living there. As at the exact time the helicopter crash happened, a lot of people were not on the premises and even the elderly people that were around were in their rooms. But as God would have it, nothing in term of fatality happened to people on the ground. So, we need to thank God. If not, fatality may have been a lot more than what we are talking about
“The people affected are senior citizens; they are people in their 80s and 70s. We have seen the level of destruction and damage. Tests will be conducted to understand the integrity of the buildings and once that is ascertained, we will start work with the federal agencies. We will start the reconstruction and renovation of the places affected and ensure that we quickly bring respite to the senior citizens that have been affected.”