At least no fewer than one person, thirteen buses and shops including houses worth millions went up in flames when a tanker fully loaded with premium motor spirits fell and exploded.
The tragedy which rendered properties worth millions useless, took place at Ogidi around the popular International Building Materials market, Onitsha, at about 5pm Sunday evening.
News Echo gathered that the fire emanated from a fallen tanker conveying inflammable content which fell into a drainage and sparked fire after spilling its content.
One of the residents of the area who spoke to our correspondent on phone 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. The fire was too much that it was difficult for fire service officers to battle.”
Another eyewitness, simply identified as Emeka noted that 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.
“The buses and shops affected in the incident where those within the area. I don’t know the number of dead persons but I think the arrival of fire service in time also helped to quench the fire”.
Anambra Police spokesman, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga while confirming the incident, said it’s unfortunate that one life was lost. He however assured that the police personnel have cordoned off the area and with the assistance of fire service departments, the situation has been brought under control.