No fewer than 100 people have been reported to have been killed after an explosion in an illegal Refinery in Ohaji/Egbema area of Imo State.
Reports have it that the fire outbreak occurred at the illegal bunkering site, burning to death well over 100 people.
The incident was confirmed by the state’s petroleum resources commissioner Goodluck Opiah.
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,”
He sympathised with the families of those who lost their lives saying “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.”
Opiah however stated that, the owner of the illegal refining site identified as Okenze Onyewoke, has been declared wanted by the state government.