Mkpoikana Udoma 31 July 2017, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – Four children of same parents in Ozuoba community, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State, are feared dead following a kerosene explosion at the weekend.
The explosion, according to witnesses, occurred when the mother of the children, who is a kerosene dealer, tried to light her stove to cook food for them.
An eye witness, identified as Mercy Ndume, said the stove contained illegally refined kerosene, popularly called ‘Kpo fire’ in local parlance.
She said the incident occurred on Friday night and that 14 rooms in the compound were affected by the fire.
A neighbour, who also witnessed the incident, speaking on the grounds of anonymity, explained that the mother of the decease children was a kerosene dealer and had kerosene stored inside her house.
“As she lit the matches on the stove, there was an explosion.
“People tried to put off the fire, but it was very difficult. The four children are gone.”
Similarly, another kerosene explosion on Monday engulfed a household in Queenstown, Opobo/Nkoro Local Government of the State.
An indigene of Queestown and relative of the victim, Mr. TamunoIyowuna Oranta, said the kerosene explosion affected three children of the same parent.
Oranta said the children were engulfed by fire when a kerosene lantern exploded at the early hours of today.
He called for assistance to help the children get medical treatment, explaining that the father of the affected children who is a fisherman cannot afford the medical bill.
“We are calling on the government both state and local government to come to our aide, and see how they can help for the sake of the innocent children because right now there is no money to deposit for treatment in the hospital.”
Confirming the incidents, the Public Relations Officer of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp, NSCDC, in Rivers State, Mr. Akin Oguntuase, said the incident occurred in Rumuokwachi village in Ozuoba, explaining that the parents of the deceased children are at large.
Oguntuase recalled the warning which he gave Nigerians last week in an exclusive chat with SweetcrudeReports, to refrain from patronising illegally-refined kerosene which he described as deadly kerosene.
“The parent of the deceased children are at large for fear of being lynched by the community. We gathered they are dealers in illegally-refined kerosene in that area.
“These still bring to the fore the warning which I gave last week concerning illegally refined kerosene. Please Nigerians should stop patronising any illegally-refined petroleum product,” Oguntuase advised.