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Fire kills four, injures seven in Rivers illegal bunkering site

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[FILES] Illegal oil bunkering


No fewer than four persons died in a fire outbreak at an illegal crude oil refining site near the Rumuji-Ibaa River in Emuoha Council of Rivers State, while seven other persons sustained various degrees of burns.

An eyewitness, Onyema Okoro, told journalists in Port Harcourt that residents of the community woke up to find huge flame on the river, while thick black smoke billowed in the atmosphere.

“We woke to see fire and huge smoke on the river between Rumuji and Ibaa communities. We also saw crude oil on the river as the fire consumed it.

“The blaze was even entering the bush (Creek). When the fire subsided, we saw a boat aflame and the four persons in it were burnt beyond recognition,” he said.

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Okoro also confirmed that seven persons who survived, but sustained various degrees of burns, were taken into the community for treatment, while others who had minor burns ran into the bush.

He added that the deceased persons were because according to tradition, people who die the way they did could not be buried in the community. When contacted, spokesman of the Rivers State Police Command, Nnamdi Omoni said he was yet to be briefed on the incident.

BESIDES, the Diobu Security Services told The Guardian that its men found two explosives on Wednesday at the Urualla waterfront in Mile 1, Port Harcourt.

Chairman of the security service, Prince Amatari, disclosed this in a statement, saying the dynamites and the other items were hidden in the ceiling of a building unknown to the property owner, who stumbled on them, while renovating the house.

Commending the property owner for alerting the outfit on its find, he said the mission and target of those behind the items was not clear.

“The owner did not even know that the explosives were kept in his building, as they were hidden in the ceiling. He only discovered the items when he wanted to renovate the house and climbed the building with a ladder that he saw the dynamites and alerted us,” he added.

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