Many feared dead as illegal refinery in Imo State got engulfed by fire
No fewer than 100 persons were razed to ashes following the fire outbreak that occurred in an illegal refinery at a forest in Abaezi Community in Ohaji-Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State.
According to report, a large number of people visited the scene of the explosion to have a glimpse of the unfortunate incident. Over 50 dead bodies was seen lying lifeless as they have been roasted by fire.
Six vehicles were also razed during the incident which had thrown the community into panic.
It was also gathered that at least 150 others were badly injured.
Speaking on the ugly development, the State Commissioner for Petroleum Resources, Goodluck Opiah, who represented Governor Hope Uzidinma of Imo State during his visit to the scene, said the fire consumed the lives of so many youths.
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.”
He said, “apart from this calamity, the act has destroyed the acqatic life of 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 neigbouring States and it is sabotage for our people to allow this illegal act 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 family. Imo State Government pray God gives the family of those who lost their lives the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.”
Goodluck Opiah also made it known that Okenze Onyewoke, the owner of the illegal refinary, had been declared wanted by the government of Imo State.