By Omoghene Benedict/Micheal Veloh- Ughelli
Two persons have been burnt beyond recognition and over 30 houses and properties worth millions of naira destroyed following an accident involving a Liquefied Petroleum Gas tanker and a granite truck in Ohoror community, Ughelli North local government area of Delta State.
It was gathered that the accident occurred at about 3:am on Thursday when the granite truck rammed into the stationed LPG tanker at Ohoro junction axis of the East/West road.
An indigene of the community who identified himself as Mr Dennis Israel said, “The truck loaded with granite was heading towards Port from Ughelli when the driver rammed into the stationary tanker and in the process collided with other tankers which ignited the fire, killing the driver of the LPG tanker, his conductor and over 30 houses and properties razed down.
According to Denis Israel, “The tankers drivers double parked along the roadside and the granite truck rammed into one of them which fell on the parked ones and the products loaded automatically discharged.
“About four trucks were parked along the roadside with different products that were loaded, ranging from diesel, fuel, kerosene and gas and when the accident occurred, the taker with diesel fell and empty all its content on the ground and from there the fire destroyed everything”.
A victim of the incident, who gave his name as Sapele Clement said, “At about 2-3am, we heard a loud sound and all we could see was fire everywhere, we have no option than to run for our dear lives. Nothing was rescued except for the clothes we were wearing.
“We want the government to come our aid as we have been left with nothing, all our properties we laboured for have gone down the drain in a twinkle of an eye”.
Speaking to newsmen at the scene, Delta State Commissioner for Higher Education, Prof Patrick Muoboghare is who from the community said, “This is very devastating and I panicked when I heard of it and you can see the level of destruction, the structures destroyed in the community.
From the report I got from my people so far, no indigene died in the process, they were very alert as soon as it happened, they were able to break houses for people to escape despite the heat of the fire.
If the youth had not blocked the drainage with sand to prevent the diesel from flowing further, it would have been more disastrous but the destruction is not describable but unfortunately two persons died as they could not get out of the truck before it got into flames.
Also, the Delta State commissioner for Oil and Gas, Prince Emmanuel Amgbaduba lamented the unexpected hardship the fire incident has caused the people.
Amgbaduba who was at the scene of the incident with Prof Patrick Muoboghare, the commissioner for Higher Education said, “On our arrival, I think it was a war zone because it was in a war situation you see stuff like this because it not a good site to behold.
“I learnt some people lost their lives but I am happy that the youths and elders from the community were proactive in ensuring that the fire was curtailed because if it wasn’t, it would have been more than this.
“We came to this place to get the first hand information and that is what His Excellency has asked us to come and see for ourselves to ascertained the root cause and mitigate against future occurrence and we have seen and we will do our report and tell him the level of diverstation and destruction that has happened here.
“We will liaised with the community exco, the commissioner for Higher Education is from here and we discussed with all of them to see how we can mitigate against the lost of the people here.
“I feel sad about it but it is the will of God and I want to tell most of us that are plying this road, especially the tanker drivers to move elsewhere, this is highly residential areas and you cannot be parking tankers loaded with petrol and diesels beside people’s houses. It is dangerous.
“We look into options to see that we move them away or get a tanker park for them because we cannot continue like as we will put all these into our report to the governor”. He said.
Special Assistant to the State Governor Youth Development, Barr Clement Osieta whose brother is a victim said, “When the incident happened I contacted some government officials and they mobilized to bring firefighter but unfortunately the fire fighter could not do anything as they did not have the apparatus to do the work effectively and it was just by the grace of God that saved us or the community would have been finished.”