Over hundred people have been burnt to death following an explosion that rocked an illegal oil refining site in Ohaji/Egbema area of Imo state.
Explosion Rocks Illegal Oil Refining Site In Imo
It was gathered that the incident, which started around 11pm on Friday, resulted in a fire outbreak at Abaezi forest in Ohaji/Egbema area.
The State Commissioner for Petroleum Resources, Goodluck Opiah, who spoke on behalf of Governor Hope Uzodinma, confirmed that many youths lost their lives to the fire.
He said, “At the moment, I can’t really confirm the number of the deceased because many family members have removed the corpses of so many others.
“Apart from this calamity, the act has destroyed the aquatic life in the community. Our people before now are predominantly farmers and fishermen.
“Look around, you’ll find smoke coming from this illegal act. If this is not enough for any person to stop, I think the community is heading for what I can’t describe.
“Most of the people who are engaging in this act are from Rivers, Bayelsa and other neighbouring states and it is sabotage for our people to allow this illegal activity to continue.
“I wish to appeal to our youths to desist from making themselves available for this illegal act. This is a suicidal business they got themselves into.
“On behalf of the Imo state government, we condole with the bereaved families. The Imo state government prays that God will give the family of those who lost their lives the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.”
The commissioner further noted that the owner of the illegal refining site, Okenze Onyewoke, had been declared wanted by the state government.
This comes a few days after three persons were killed, while several others sustained injuries in an explosion that occurred in Iware community of Taraba state.