Two Filling Stations, Buildings Burnt In Onitsha Tanker Explosion

There is palpable tension in Onitsha following a tanker explosion that burnt two petrol filling stations along the Onitsha-Enugu-Awka Road on Sunday.

Men of the Anambra State Fire Service responded to the distress call by residents of the area and they quenched the fire before it spread to two other filling stations around the area – Rain Oil and JI Edison Oil.

Our correspondent gathered from eyewitnesses account that the explosion occurred with a thunderous noise around 8 pm.

About 15 vehicles at a mechanic workshop near the gas stations were also burnt by the fire.

As of the time of filing this report, it was not yet clear if there was any human casualty although some of the residential buildings near the filling station had burnt down with occupants carrying out their belongings and scampering to safety.

The incident caused heavy traffic on the busy road as men of the safety and firefighters battled to rescue the remains of the burnt properties.

An eyewitness and also a victim of the fire, who was visibly shaking and could not mention his name said, “We were in the house this evening and suddenly we heard a loud noise like a thunder and when we came out, thick smoke had enveloped the whole vicinity and everybody started running here and there.”

The incident threw residents of Omagba Phase One, Onitsha as some of them were seen running into unknown destinations.

Meanwhile, the area has been cordoned off and traffic diverted.

Calls put across through to the Police Public Relations Officer for his reaction were not answered and he did not also respond to message on his phone as of the time of filing this report.

Meanwhile, the Anambra State Ag. Sector Public Education Officer, FRSC, Margaret Onabe, who arrived on the scene with a team of the Corps said, “At about 19:30hours today, a tanker laden with Premium Motor Spirit exploded at Chris-Tee filling station near Boromio Roundabout, Onitsha.
“Men of the Fire Service and FRSC Rescue Team are on the ground working very hard to curtail the inferno. We implore the public to be calm and patient, while the fire service battle the Fire and prevent its escalation.

“According to an eye witness report, the fire started at Christee Gas plant and spread over to the two other nearby filling stations.
“The fire is still ongoing but the fire service is on top of the situation working assiduously to put off the fire. However, the total damage and casualties have yet to be ascertained, as the fire is still burning.”

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