Another tanker fire destroys properties in Onitsha

The tanker fire incident in Onitsha
The tanker fire incident in Onitsha

A day after a fire ignited by a fallen tanker killed at least three persons in Onitsha, another fuel tanker Friday morning also fell and caught fire in the commercial city of Anambra State.

The incident occurred on the Enugu-Onitsha expressway around 3 a.m.

However, no lives were lost in the incident.

A witness, Chiedu Beluchi, said the vehicle fell and spilt its contents believed to be petrol into the drainage which quickly spread to the surrounding area.

“Around 3 a.m we heard shouts of ‘fire,’ ‘fire’. I thought it was our building. When we rushed out it was at Enugu-Onitsha express. A tanker laden with fuel fell on the express exactly in front of a filling station,” Mr Beluchi said.

Unlike Wednesday’s incident where the Anambra State Fire Service failed to show up with their fire fighting equipment, Mr Beluchi said the firefighters quickly put out the fire.

“This time, Anambra State Fire Service came swiftly and before 4:30 a.m the fire had been put out and stopped from causing havoc in the residential area.”

Another resident, Ada Igwe, however said the fire destroyed some cars parked on the street around the area.

“The fuel tanker fell this on the Onitsha Enugu expressway opposite Bessoy filling station and burst into flames which entered Omagba Phase 2 and burnt some cars parked along the drainage line,” she said

Anambra State Commissioner of Police, John Abang, confirmed the incident.

“This time around, the fire service responded well after they were contacted by my men,” the police chief said.

Wednesday’s fire incident continued to elicit reactions from across the state.

The senator representing Anambra North District, Stella Oduah, in a statement, said she will donate three fire trucks to help in fire fighting in the state.

“Sequel to my statement yesterday where I promised to look into ways of ameliorating the plight of victims in yesterday’s fuel tanker inferno, I have decided on the following steps:

“Wounded victims are encouraged to go to the Saint Charles Borromeo Hospital & Holy Rosary Hospital, Waterside where arrangements have been put in place to receive and treat them for free”.

“I shall be making a donation of three fire trucks to the Federal Fire Service in Onitsha to ensure they are better equipped to avert future occurrences like this”, Mrs Oduah said.

READ ALSO: Tanker fire kills mother, child in Onitsha

The lawmaker also said she would work with SMEDAN to develop access to soft loans and grants for the affected youth to help get them back on their feet.

“I shall be working with my colleagues to explore the legislative option on the need to regulate the movement of heavy-duty trucks on our Trunk A roads to prevent such calamities from ever happening again,” she said.

Also, the senator representing Anambra Central District, Uche Ekwunife, commiserated with the victims of the fire disaster.

In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Kingsley Ubani, the lawmaker described the incident as sad and unfortunate.

“What is most saddening is that the incident which took lives and destroyed goods worth millions of Naira came at a time when most citizens are struggling to earn a living”, she said.

Ms Ekwunife said Ochanja market, which was most hit by the incident, is a major source of revenue for the state.

She urged the state government to take proactive steps to curb the incessant fire outbreaks in the state.

She called for public places such as markets and malls to be provided functional fire stations to ensure swift reaction to fire outbreaks.

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