Tanker Explosion In Onitsha Claims Woman, Baby and Burns Buildings (Photos)
Popular Upper Iweka street experienced raging fire as tanker explosion in Onitsha, Anambra State claimed a woman and her baby, while no fewer than 40 buildings; two storey buildings to four were burnt down.
It was also recorded that over 500 lock- up shops were also consumed by the fire along the Iweka street market leading to Ochanja and Menax market.
The tragic incident was reported to have started when a tanker loded with Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol, descending from the Zik’s roundabout end of Onitsha -Enugu expressway, lost control around Toronto Hospital and veered off the service lane.
The tanker’s head evidently fell off, spilling its content within the area and resulted to flames and explosion subsequently.
The woman carrying her baby reportedly tried to escape out of her shop, but wrongly stepped on greasy substance and fell into the gutter that was already caught up with the fire.
It is good news that more than 30 private and government owned transport companies, including Luxury bus operators along the area lucky fled being caught the by fire outbreak.
Dwellers, including, women, aged men, and children in most of the building were surrounded by flames as youths had to climb up to three to four- storey buildings to save them from the fire, which was fast approaching the building.
An eye witness alleged that there was no presence of fire service officers to rescue the situation, including the ones in the markets in Onitsha and Local Government. He added that people looked frustrated as they watched their shops, houses, wares burning down. Some elderly men, women and teenagers would have been caught up with fire as well, if not for some courageous youths to help rescue them.
The Police Command however confirmed that the woman and her child died in the Onitsha tanker firestorm.
The spokesperson, Haruna Mohammed, said the woman and her child were burnt beyond recognition, adding that their remains had been deposited in a nearby morgue.
See part of the report, “Today (Wednesday) at about a trailer loaded with petroleum product lost control at upper Iweka, on the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway, Onitsha and crashed inside a pavement in between the expressway.
“As a result, the fire spilled over through the gutter and affected many shops and houses.
“The Commissioner of Police John Abang visited the scene for on the spot assessment and appealed to the residents to remain calm.
“Fire Service department was equally contacted.
“A yet- to- be identified woman and her baby caught up by the inferno and burnt beyond recognition were rushed to Toronto hospital but certified dead by a medical doctor while receiving treatment.”
Haruna said a police patrol teams had cordoned off the area to prevent hoodlums from taking advantage of the situation to loot while effort was ongoing to put off the fire.
He reiterated that the command was investigating the case to ascertain circumstances surrounding the incident.