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Tragedy as 100 Burnt Alive in Nnewi Gas Factory Disaster

Valentine Chinyem



Anambra State was thrown into mourning yesterday, when more than 100 people were burnt to ashes in a fire disaster, which occurred at Inter Corp Oil Limited (an LPG gas plant), in Nnewi LGA of the State.

Eyewitness accounts said the fire, which started at about 11:00am, was triggered by an explosion which occurred when a truck attempted to discharge its contents without waiting for the mandatory cooling time while customers were said to be refilling at the same time.

All the people at the gas plant were allegedly burnt to ashes while some of the victims who were in the neighbourhood and passersby were caught in the inferno.

Burnt remains and other badly burnt people were rushed to Nnamdi Azikwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH), Nnewi, while the heavy inferno did not allow rescue workers gain assess into the factory where the majority of the victims allegedly to be in their hundreds, were trapped.

All efforts to get the attention of the Anambra State Fire Service did not yield any positive result but a fire officer, Mrs Mary Ofia excused fire service personnel when she claimed that the fire truck was vandalised by angry mob when they went for an operation at Nkpor.

Apart from lives lost to the inferno, many buildings and over 50 vehicles around the gas plant were equally affected and some dead victims were actually recovered in their homes.

However when the fire fighters from Awka and Okpoko finally arrived, it took the intervention of security agents to save them from being lynched by the angry mob who questioned why Nnewi fire service was not functional.

A combined team of the army, Federal Road Safety Corps, (FRSC), police and vigilante had a hectic time in dispersing the surging crowd.