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Residents scamper for safety as petrol tanker guts fire in Onitsha

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Residents of Nkwelle Ezunaka, near Onitsha, on Saturday scampered for safety as a petrol tanker conveying petroleum products fell into a ditch and gutted a huge fire.

Congress learned that the tanker driver lost control and fell into the ditch, spreading its content abroad, resulting in a massive outbreak of fire in Onitsha on Saturday.

According to sources, residents of the area had fled their homes for fear of being caught up in the flames.

The sources said firefighters, who arrived in the area to arrest the situation were chased away by irate youths, who protested over their late arrival, attacking them with stones and other dangerous weapons.

The State fire service men, who feared for their lives, made a U-turn and left the area for fear of their equipment being damaged.

However, Anambra State Fire Service Chief, Mr. Martin Agbili, had lamented the poor attitude of some members of the society towards fire service men.

Reacting, Agbili said: “It is very unfortunate for the ugly actions of people towards firefighters and fire service.

“My men and the first fire trucks got to the fire scene of T-junction Nkwelle and people start throwing stones at them. People should understand that fire service is only coming to render help when there is a fire outbreak and not the cause of the fire.”

According to him, the police operatives and members of the Nkwelle Ezunaka community vigilante were able to render assistance that helped the firefighters to return and do their job.

He narrated that two persons, who were involved in pelting his men had been arrested, while others have fled.

“Having engaged the Nigeria Police Force and the vigilante, two persons among those that threw stones on my men have been arrested, and some identified ones are still on the run.

“The team of Nigeria Police and Local Vigilante led my men back to the fire scene. Our Firefighters and fire trucks are back to the fire scene again to complete the fire fighting operation, and finally, the fire has been controlled,” he explained.

Source: Daily post