Taraba Explosion: All I heard was ‘thunder’, then I blacked out — Bar owner
File image of a gas explosion.

By Ikechukwu Odu

A staff of the National Veterinary Research Institute, Dr. Onyemaechi Nwagbo, Monday, recounted how a domestic gas explosion claimed four lives of his household at Umuokalu Orba, Udenu Local Government Area of Enugu State.

Nwagbo, who was equally severally burnt by the explosion said that he lost two daughters studying Medical courses at the Madonna University, Rivers State, his wife and a stepson.

He explained that the incident happened at about 8:30 in the morning when his late daughter, Mmesomma Nwagbo, lit their cooking gas while trying to fry yam for breakfast.

He further explained that when the deceased noticed a leakage from the gas cylinder, she turned the light off and covered the cylinder with a bucket. However, he said that the leaking gas magnetized fire from a charcoal stove outside the house and set the house into flames.

“I was in my house that fateful day and suddenly, I heard a sound. I rushed out to the corridor and put my change-over off the power lines because I thought it was electrical something, but the noise continued. So, when I got to the kitchen, I discovered that Mmesomma Nwagbo, my 20-year-old daughter was using a bucket to cover our gas cylinder.

“We thought that the fire has been controlled, unfortunately, the leaked gas got outside and connected with a burning charcoal stove outside the house and fire came from there. Within two seconds, we were already burnt. We ran helter-skelter and in the midst of that confusion and pain, we found ourselves outside the house, by that time, we were all naked.

“I rushed back into the house and picked a baby who was sleeping and handed him to the people around.

“Those who were alerted by our alarm organized a bus and took us to the Emergency Unit of the Bishop Shanahan Hospital in Nsukka metropolis where we received treatment. This happened on Wednesday, 18th April, 2022. Surprisingly, at the early hours of Thursday, I got the news that Mmesomma has died.

“When the day broke that Thursday, we were referred to the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Enugu, unfortunately, all the people I went with died.

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“Apart from Mmesomma, I also lost my wife, Nkiru, my 22-year-old daughter, Ebubechukwu Nwagbo, and a stepson, Ifeanyichukwu Eze.

“The explosion is still mysterious to me even now. In a broad daylight, domestic gas explosion took almost the lives of my entire household.

“The Enugu State Government had really helped because it took care of some of the medical bills. Even my office where I work paid some bills for me too.

“Their corpses have not been buried because my family is still waiting for my recovery. I would welcome government assistance in their burial. I am an ordinary human being and it has not been easy for me. The pain of acute burns is not equally easy to bear, but in every situation, I give God the glory.

“The two of my daughters who lost their lives were in 300 level, Madonna University, Rivers State. Ebubechukwu was studying Medical Optometry, while Mmesomma was studying Medical Laboratory Technology. Ifeanyichukwu was in primary 3,” he explained.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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