Friday, July 29, 2011
7 Die As Fire Guts Police, Prisons Officers’ Quarters!
About seven persons including little children were Thursday feared dead, while over 50 buildings housing police officers as well as officers of the Nigeria Prisons Service, Enugu State were razed when a tanker carrying fuel caught fire and exploded at a roundabout near the popular Ogbete Market, Enugu.
Several police officers and prison wardens were rendered homeless, while property worth several millions of naira including over 10 cars, innumerable motorcycles, most of them belonging to either traders at the market or officers at the Central Police Station and the Nigeria Prisons were completely destroyed.
But for the timely intervention of men of the Enugu Fire Service as well as officers and men of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Nigeria Securities and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), among other security operatives, the entire Central Police Station and the Ogbete main market would have been completely razed down.
Though, the Deputy Commissioner of Police in the state, Steven Ekpei said only three persons died in the inferno, eye witness account had it that the deaths were not less than seven. Even some fire-fighters sustained varying degrees of injuries while trying to put off the rampaging fire. They were rushed to Parklane hospital.
According to the eyewitness account, the driver of the Petroleum Tanker belonging to Shorelink Oil and Gas Services Port-Harcourt with registration number XL 968 JJJ may have battled effortlessly to control the heavy vehicle at the round before it fell down before exploding at about 7.07 am and caught fire shortly after.
It was also gathered that the leaked fuel from the tanker flowed into the Enugu Central Police Station Barracks and some parts of Ogbete Main Market through a gutter located at Prison barracks.