Two lives were lost while over 14 buses and other properties worth millions of naira went up in flames in a tanker inferno in Ogidi, near Onitsha, Anambra state.
Several persons were reportedly burnt in the fire which occurred around the popular International Building Materials market.
It was gathered that the fire which started Sunday evening, emanated from a fallen tanker conveying inflammable content which fell into a drainage and sparked fire after spilling its content.
A resident of the area who claimed to be at the scene when the incident happened, said the tanker was stationary when another articulated vehicle trailer rammed into it, following loss of control.
He said, “Several luxury buses parked around the area immediately went up in flames. Shops and buildings within the area were also not left out too. The fire was too much that it was difficult for fire service officers to battle.”
Confirming the incident, Chief Fire Service in the State, Engr. Martin Agbili put the casualty figures at two, while 14 buses and properties were lost to the inferno.
He however said the fire could have escalated to other parts of the area if not for the quick arrival of his men and assistance from other stations, including the one inside the market.
He said, “Immediately we were alerted, I deployed my men who stormed the scene with five fire trucks to battle the fire which lasted for several hours.
“The buses affected in the incident where those within the area. We’re yet to ascertain the number of injured. We thank God we were able to contain the fire.”
The police spokesperson, Tochukwu Ikenga also confirmed the incident, saying, “our men have cordoned off the area presently, to avoid hoodlums taking advantage of the fire to loot.”