…We couldn’t do much; fire service refused to come—Neighbour
…‘Too rampant in Calabar; FG must say where the products come from’
By Ike Uchechukwu
CALABAR—FIRE from adulterated kerosene’s explosion has killed a family of four at 124, Murtala Mohammed Highway, Ikot Omin, 8 Miles, at the outskirts of Calabar, Cross River State.
Vanguard gathered that Mrs Nseobong Uduak (mother) and three of her children— Miracle 10; Silas, three, and a two-month-old baby, whose name could not be ascertained— were burnt to death.
Vanguard learned that the victims died at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar, where they were rushed to after sustaining serious burns from the explosion, which destroyed their two-bedroom apartment, where property worth millions of Naira were also destroyed.
An eyewitness, Francis Effiong, said: “I was inside my apartment when I heard something explode like bomb and rushed outside. I saw my neighbour’s house engulfed in smoke and flames in the twinkling of an eye.
“One of our neighbours said before the explosion, she heard the young woman, Nseobong Uduak, telling her first son, Miracle, to fill the lantern with kerosene.
“Everybody was battling to put out the fire and rescue the victims, but before we could do so, Silas and the baby had been burnt to death.
“Miracle and the mother were rushed to the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, but both gave up the ghost.
“Some neighbours put a call through to the State Fire Service, but help never came and our neighbours managed to put out the fire all by themselves.”
Another resident, Jeremiah Joshua, expressed surprise that cases of kerosene explosion was becoming rampant in Calabar and, therefore, called on the Federal Government to ascertain the source of kerosene supplied to the masses for domestic usage.
His words: “Most times, the kerosene is bought from filling stations as we are advised to do and not from road sides.
“Even those selling by road sides also buy from filling stations, but the question is why is kerosene exploding these days? Nigerians had always used kerosene since it became a nation, and that was over 60 years ago.
“The Federal Government should explain to Nigerians the cause of kerosene explosions in the country.”