A fire at an illegal crude oil refining site near the Rumuji-Ibaa River in Emuoha Council of Rivers State claimed the lives of four people, while seven others were injured with varying degrees of burns.
Residents of the city awoke to see a massive blaze on the river and thick black smoke billowing in the atmosphere, according to an eyewitness, Onyema Okoro, who spoke to journalists in Port Harcourt.
“When we awoke, the river between Rumuji and Ibaa communities was aflame with fire and thick smoke. We also saw crude oil on the river, which had been consumed by the flames.
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“The fire had also spread to the bush” (Creek). When the fire subsided, we saw a boat on fire with four people inside who were completely burned,” he said.
Okoro also reported that seven people survived with varying degrees of burns and were brought into the village for treatment, while others with minor burns fled into the jungle.
He went on to say that the dead people were there because people who died in such a manner could not be buried in the village, according to tradition. When contacted, Nnamdi Omoni, spokesman for the Rivers State Police Command, said he had not yet been briefed on the incident.
APART FROM THAT, the Diobu Security Services informed The Guardian that its men discovered two explosives at the Urualla waterfront in Mile 1 Port Harcourt on Wednesday.
The dynamites and other objects were concealed in the ceiling of a building unknown to the property owner, who discovered them while renovating the home, according to Prince Amatari, the chairman of the security service.
He thanked the property owner for informing the organisation about the discovery, but said the mission and target of those responsible for the objects were unclear.
“The owner did not even realise that the explosives were kept in his house, as they were concealed in the ceiling. He only found the things when he decided to renovate the house and climbed the building with a ladder that he saw the dynamites and told us,” he added.
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