By Timi Black
There is pandemonium in Chokoko community in Etche Local Government Area of Rivers State as several house have been razed down by suspected local refinery explosion on Wednesday.
The incident was said to have consumed several buildings in the area, according to residents.
Narrating their ordeal, the Secretary of the Etche Anti-bunkering Taskforce Committee, Noble Nwugha, added that it took firefighters time to put out the inferno.
He narrated: “The owner of the site where the fire outbreak happened is from Ogoni and he does illegal oil refining there.
“The incident happened around 9pm, so when we got there, it was something else. We had to call the fire service from Mile one to come and put it off.
“So, this morning, the Chairman of the taskforce Committee directed us to go back to that place to see if we can apprehend the man and as well take inventory of what happened. When we got there we heard that the man has run away with his family.
“The Council Chairman Etche Local Government is aware of the incident. The council has directed that we should seal the building pending his arrest.
“We have written to community leaders and we tell them to alert us whenever they notice anybody indulging in oil bunkering they will come there and seal the place. Unlike what happened last night where so many properties were lost and some buildings razed.”
“The community members are not helping the matter, we have told them to report oil bunkering activities to us. The effect is not good for our people especially the soot in the air.
“They should give us information on the activities of these people so we can apprehend them and hand them over to the police”.