By Alabi Lawrence
No fewer than hundreds persons reportedly lost their lives in an explosion that occurred at an illegal bunkering site in Abaezi forest, Imo State.
According to reports, the incident which occurred at about 11 pm on Friday, April 22, left about one hundred and fifty others seriously injured.
DailyPost reported that an eyewitness said;
“The fire was even entering the bush, we saw the people that were inside, no one was seen coming out.
People were also scared going close the place but later when people got there, they found out it was over hundred persons that were burnt and one hundred and fifty others who sustained serious burns were rushed into the villages for treatment.”
The Imo State Commissioner for Petroleum Resources, Goodluck Opiah, said ;
“Apart from this calamity, the act has destroyed the acqatic life of the community. Our people before now are predorminantly farmers and fishermen.
“Look around, you’ll find smokes 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 sucidal business they got themselves into.
“On behalf of Imo State Government, we condole with the berieved family. Imo State Government pray God gives the family of those who lost their lives the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.”
The owner of the illegal bunkering site has also been declared wanted by the Government.