Many people are feared dead as a result of an explosion that occurred at an illegal oil refining site in Ibas Community, Emuoha Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Reports indicate that more than 30 people lost their lives in the explosion, and over 10 individuals sustained serious injuries.
The victims are said to have suffered severe burns, with many of them unrecognizable due to the extent of the fire damage.
According to Daily Trust, the explosion took place late on a Sunday night when a group of over 40 individuals from the community was involved in scooping petroleum product at the site.
The victims were in the process of selling the product when suddenly, the area was engulfed in flames.
The impact of the explosion extended beyond Ibas Community, affecting people from neighboring areas such as Isiokpo in Ikwerre Local Government Area, Ibaa, and Oduoha in Emohua LGA.
A source within the community described the harrowing scene, saying, “More than 40 people were there at the site. They were there scooping and bagging crude oil when fire caught.”
“The fire came from a refining site that is close to the point where they were bagging the crude. Many Isiokpo and Oduoha people, and Ibaa people were there.’
“Seven of the people died inside the pit where they were scooping the crude. About 10 burnt were completely burnt by the pit.”
The spokesperson for the state police Command, Grace Iringe-Koko, was contacted for information regarding the incident but stated that she would find out and provide updates to the correspondent.
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