March 4, 2024

Many people were reportedly burnt beyond recognition after a tanker suspected to be used by oil bunkerers exploded in the forest of Obitti, Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State.

The PUNCH learnt that the incident happened on Tuesday at Ndorama Pipeline at the Obitti Rubber Estate of Ohaji/Egbema Local Government of the state.

In a viral video on social media, an eyewitness said, “Vandals came to vandalise pipeline right of way. This place is called Ndorama Pipeline, right of way.

“They drove to the place in a tanker suspected to be used for the illegal bunkering. They dug deep into the ground, located the pipeline, and from where they tapped and emptied the oil into a tanker parked inside the bush.

“They used long hoses, connected them to the pipe but unfortunately, luck ran out of them. It exploded and killed many of them. You can see some of them burnt to ashes. Some of them, their bodies are still burning. The tanker is still burning.”

Confirming the incident in an interview with our correspondent on Thursday, the Imo State Police Public Relations Officer, Henry Okoye, said the command had set up an investigation team to move in and unearth the immediate cause of the incident, as well as arrest the persons involved.

“Our team have moved to the scene to unravel the cause of the fire,” he said.

Meanwhile, Okoye did not reveal the number of casualties in the incident as he said they have yet to ascertain that.

Punch

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