By GABRIEL ENOGHOLASE
BENIN — A policeman (names withheld) attached to one of the Police formations in Warri, Delta State, has lost four of his six children to kerosene explosion, which occurred at his residence in Oghara, also in the state.
However, his wife, a petty trader, simply identified as Edna, and his two other children are now on danger list at the Accident and Emergency Unit of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, UBTH, where they were admitted and are now battling for survival.
National Coordinator of Save Accidents Victims of Nigeria, SAVAN, Dr. Eddy Ehikhamenor, who was on hand to receive the victims when they were brought in, Monday night, said the mother and her two children suffered 85 per cent burn.
According to a neighbour of the victims, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the affected woman, who also sells kerosene among other petty things, was about to light her lantern when it exploded, and fire engulfed her residence.
She said attempts by her neighbours to rescue the victims failed and in the process, four of the children died.
Commenting on the incident, which he described as very pathetic, Dr. Ehikhamenor advised kerosene users to always carry out simple tests on their kerosene before usage.
He listed such tests to include visual test, that is, the use of the eyes to ascertain whether the product is actually kerosene; to ascertain whether the colour of the kerosene is golden or light yellow, nasal examination to know if the kerosene is irritating, pungent or choking, saying that it was an indication that such product was fuel and not kerosene.
He also advised kerosene consumers to put a drop of the product on their skin to see if it will evaporate fast, saying that once the product evaporates very fast, it was an indication that it was fuel and very volatile.
He warned against the sale of adulterated kerosene to consumers by retailers and marketers all in their bid to maximize profits.