© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Black Wednesday in Onitsha: Lives, properties, shops lost to tanker explosion
A TANKER explosion around the Upper Iweka axis of Onitsha, Anambra state has turned Wednesday “a black day” for the residents of the commercial city as lives, properties and goods were burnt to ashes.
The state police command, Haruna Mohammed, who confirmed the incident to the TVC News noted that the fire explosion was caused after a petrol tanker had an accident while plying the road along the Upper Iweka axis of the city.
It was reported that there was no firefighter or emergency responder at the scene for more than an hour the inferno started.
With the petrol flowing down the road, according to videos posted online, dozens of residential buildings and part of Ochanga, the second-largest market in the town were razed down. Hundreds of vehicles were also touched.
Very painful memory for the residents was the life-burning of people. Currently, there is no official number of persons that have died. But a yet to be identified woman and a baby have been certified dead at Toronto hospital in Onitsha after being burnt beyond recognition.
The Police had reportedly responded to the situation cordoning off the area to prevent hoodlums from taking advantage to loot from the shop.
The incident has spurred lamentations from Nigerians on the social media, including Facebook and Twitter.
A Twitter user identified as Mazi Nwaichie said the fire burned for two hours.
“Over two hours it was happening in Ochanja market in Anambra, no single van from the #fireservice to at least calm the fire down. Families lost their loved ones, goods were burnt to ashes, People are left with frustration,” he tweeted.
Here are some of the comments on Twitter.
It's really a black Wednesday in Onitsha. We join our voice with the whole South East and the whole country to empathise with our brothers who have lost valuables or dear ones in the Onitsha fire.
— CoalCityConnect (@Coal_City) October 16, 2019
7:11 pm and the fire at ochanja market in Onitsha Anambra state is still burning, kind hearted individuals are supplying water with their water taker,we are trying our best to make sure the fire don't spread to the other part's of the market,@illBlissGoretti @phynofino
— Onyekachukwu (@IgwenaguV) October 16, 2019
Anambra state Govt need to invest heavily on fire service department in a big commercial town like onitsha & others.
Quite unfortunate & avoidable if govt really enforced d ban on fuel tanker & trucks plying d roads in daytime.
RIP to d dead..Wishing dos injured quick recovery.
— Chineze (Ex Mrs Walcott 😢 Ozil's bae💖 (@Amchizzy) October 16, 2019