Nonsochukwu Uwa, Owerri
Over a hundred people died and vehicles burnt Friday night, following an explosion at an illegal oil bunkering field located in Abaezi community in Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State.
Ikengaonline gathered from sources in the area which has a boundary with Rivers State, that the incident happened at about 11:45 pm, while the bunkerers were busy doing their illegal local refining of petroleum product.
Confirming the incident, the Imo State Commissioner for Petroleum Resources, Goodluck Opiah, said: “The governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodimma, has declared the owner of the illegal bunkering field, Okenze Onyewoke, wanted. Anywhere he is he will be arrested and used to teach others doing this business a big lesson.
“We have warned people several times to stop this illegal oil bunkering and I think this will serve as a lesson to others venturing into this business. We also sympathize with the families of those who lost their lives in this unfortunate incident. Most of the people who are engaging in this act are from Rivers, Bayelsa and other neighbouring states and it is sabotage for our people to allow this illegal activity to continue.”
At the time of filing this report, village sources said some bodies had been taken away and others buried.