Rivers petrol fire: Community still counting losses
By Jimitota Onoyume
PORT HARCOURT – WAILING continued Wednesday in Okogbe community, Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers state when news hit the town that two of their sons that were also victims of Thursday petrol tanker fire in the area had died in the hospital.
It would be recalled that about one hundred persons from the community reportedly perished in the petrol tanker that fell and burst into flames at the East West road end of the community Thursday.
A youth leader in the area, Mr Felix O Felix who spoke to the Vanguard Wednesday in the community said they had continued to bury corpses of those that perished in the ill-fated petrol tanker since last Thursday. “We just heard that two of our sons that made it to the hospital died and are being brought back home for burial”, he said.
Adding, another youth leader, Bethel Udo who lost his younger brother Aguenita Bethel said his family and the entire community was still enveloped in the pain after the sad fire disaster. He said some of his family members who could not stand the sight of his younger brother’s photographs in the house had to burn them recently, believing that the action could help douse the painful mood in the house.
“To reduce tears in our house, some of my relatives brought out the photos of my younger brother that died and burnt them. Nobody wants to remember the painful loss.”
Some youths in the community who also spoke off record feared that the petrol fire disaster that consumed about one hundred persons from the area was beyond what the ordinary eyes could explain. “I think there is something strange about the incident”, they said.
They said they were worried that some of those who reportedly died from the incident should not have passed on because the burns they allegedly suffered were not too severe as to result to death. Continuing, they said pastors could be invited if the need arose.
Meantime, there was heavy traffic at the community’s end of the East West road yesterday. Travellers were stranded there for several hours. Officers of the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC and security operatives were seen controlling the traffic. A heavy duty vehicle broke down at a bad spot on the East West road.
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