Scores killed as explosion rocks illegal refinery in Imo state

An explosion has rocked  an illegal crude oil refinery in Abaezi forest, Ohaji-Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State, with many people feared killed, and several persons were also seriously injured as well as six vehicles razed in the incident.

Penpushing reports that, the Commissioner for Petroleum Resources in the state, Goodluck Opiah, on a visit to the scene on Saturday, said the incident was unfortunate, describing  illegal oil bunkering as a suicidal business.

The Commissioner during his on-the-spot assessment visit said he was yet to confirm the actual casualty figure, adding that as at the time of filing this report many family members have removed corpses of those affected.

“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. 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’, he said.

“Apart from this calamity, the act has destroyed the aquatic life in the community. Our people before now were predominantly farmers and fishermen. Look around, you will 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’, Opiah said.

 Penpushing further reports that, as at the time of filing this report multiple witnesses however, put the casualty figure between 100 and 200, just as the commissioner, equally disclosed that  the state government has declared the owner of the illegal refinery, identified as Okenze Onyenwaoke wanted over the crime.

The Commissioner advised Onyenwaoke to make himself available to the police immediately, however, said he could not say if the people were all from the state or the neigbouring states or not

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