A tanker loaded with PMS which fell at busy street market in Onitsha Anambra state have claimed five people lives and destroying goods and properties worth billions of Naira
An eyewitness said the fire started at about 10 am, but there was no presence of fire service personnel on hand. “The incident started when a tanker laden with petrol lost control around Toronto Hospital and veered off the service lane. The tanker fell from the vehicle and went up in flames after spilling its content.”
A woman and her child had been confirmed dead, while three others were said to have died at different locations in the area. we gathered that the woman carrying her baby tried to jump out of her shop, but missed her steps and fell into a gutter raging with fire.
Residents thrown in panic mode trying to rescue some wares from the shops yet to be consumed by the inferno said, “Over 500 lock-up shops were gutted by fire on Iweka Street Market leading to Ochanja and Menax markets.
While over Forty buildings and scores of shops were also torched in the disaster caused by the derailing of a tanker loaded with petrol.
Residents, including the old and children in most of the buildings, were trapped as youths had a hectic time rescuing them.
The Anambra state police command confirmed the death of the woman and her child, spokesperson, Haruna Mohammed, in a statement said the woman and her child were burnt beyond recognition, adding that their remains had been deposited in a nearby morgue.
The statement read in part, “Today (Wednesday) 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 an 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 were certified dead by a medical doctor.
Mohammed said a police patrol team had cordoned off the area to prevent hoodlums from taking advantage of the situation to loot while effort was ongoing to put out the fire.