By Chimaobi Nwaiwu, NNEWI
THERE is pandemonium on Friday at the Upper Iweka area of Onitsha, Anambra State, when an inferno resulted from the explosion of a fuel-laden tanker.
The explosion occurred at the Ezeiweka Junction, Awada, near Obodoukwu Road, Onitsha, Anambra State.
The tanker broke down at the bad portion of the busy Ezeiweka Junction, Upper Iweka Onitsha-Owerri Road axis; a stone throw to Obodoikwu Road and directly to Owerri Park and the Relief Market Onitsha.
Many shops and building around the area were burnt, as the fire which started at 9.30am had caused a long traffic jam in and out of Onitsha.
Men of Anambra and Delta fire services were at the scene, battling to quench the fire.
They, however, ran out of water and left to get more, while the fire continued to rage.
People were see running helter skelter to evacuate their goods from their shops yet to be affected by the gradually spreading fire, while others were seen trying to salvage some of their affected goods.
The tanker fell due to a big pothole which developed around July 2021 and has been causing accidents.
Cranes have also fell, killing tricycle operators and pedestrians, while damaging other vehicles passing through the bad portion of the road.
It will be recalled that a similar pothole developed at Obonoukwu road junction by Onitsha-Owerri road in 2020, not far from today’s accident scene.
At that pothole, a crane fell killing five passengers in two tricycles, including a pregnant woman.
It took a lifter from Julius Berger Construction Company, after all efforts failed, to lift the crane off the victims and the tricycles.
According to 75 years old Mr. Onyekachi Okoye from Nnewi, who was trapped in a traffic today’s incident, “To fill this pothole that caused this disaster would not have taken a responsible government a trip of sand and a trip concrete or chippings.
“My worry is that the state governors we have today in South-East are so carefree about things that affect their people.
“They leave their people to die in avoidable road accidents. Tell me if two trips of sand will not feel this pothole that have case this disaster.
“Why will any responsible state government leave this all-important road to have this kind of pothole, just because they feel it is a federal government road?
“Fill the potholes, make the road passable for your people until when the federal government wants to work on it.
“Chris Ngige did it and Peter Obi did the same during their times.
“This present government should not be an exception. People are suffering and dying on this Onitsha-Owerri Road daily.”