By Chinonso Alozie, Owerri
Villagers from Abaezi community in Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area and neighbouring towns in Imo State watched in pains, agony as 50 out of over the110 victims were buried after last Friday’s explosion at the illegal refinery in Abaezi community.
The mass burial took place, yesterday, at Abaezi forest in Abacheke community in Ohaji/Egbema area, where some locals dug three graves for the mass burial.
Confirming the number of people who were buried, chairman of Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area, Marcel Amadioha, alongside security agents and officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) supervised the mass burial.
Amadioha simply said: “The victims buried were those bodies that were burnt beyond recognition.”
One of the youth leaders, Ben Marcus, who spoke to our correspondent, said: “Some of the victims were identified by their relatives and were allowed to carry them for burial. Most of the victims came from far and near. The incident will serve as a lesson to those engaging in such illegal business.
“The government should provide employment for the teeming youths of the community to dissuade them from getting involved in such illegal and risky business.”
However, before the mass burial, health officials were expected to fumigate the area after the bodies were collected from various spots where the fire caught the victims as they tried to flee from the raging inferno.