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Nnewi Inferno: Search For Bodies Continues


ExplosionFOLLOWING the inferno that killed a number of people at Inter Corp Oil Limited (LPG Gas Plant), a subsidiary of Chikason Group, in Nnewi on Thursday, relatives of the victims were yesterday seen searching the bushes around the factory for remains of their missing family members.

The fire incident at the heavy industrial town of Nnewi was reported to have killed over 100 people, but the police insisted that only eight persons have so far died from the incident. The corpses were deposited at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH) Nnewi mortuary, while some of the survivors were taken to nearby hospitals for treatment.

Some of the relatives of the missing victims who spoke to The Guardian yesterday at Nnewi said they embarked on the search because they heard that many people ran into the bush to escape the fire and have been not seen since then.

One man who lost a relative and who put his name as Mr Johnson lamented that his younger brother who was sent to refill gas at the factory has not come back home till now, saying that it is still a mystery to him.

Mrs Onyeka in company of  many other sympathizers, were all in tears and also seen searching around the forest to see if  their relatives could be recovered dead or alive.

Meanwhile, a worker in one of the Chikason factories (names withheld) said the workers have just concluded a two-week fasting and prayer session after a prophet allegedly warned the chairman of the group of the impending doom.

The traditional ruler of Nnewi, Igwe KON Orizu in company of his council of titled chiefs have visited scene of the incident.
Speaking to journalists yesterday, a spokesperson for the royal father, Chief Dan Ulasi said Nnewi has never experienced such level of devastation.

He said the Igwe and his cabinet visited some hospitals in Nnewi to sympathize with the survivors, adding that others in critical conditions have been referred to Enugu teaching hospital.

In his reaction, the legislator representing local government areas in the House of Representatives, Hon Chris Azubogu who visited the scene of the explosion, regretted that the accident has dampened the Christmas celebration for the people of the town.

He said the accident has made it necessary for government to enforce safety standards, while there is the need for regulatory bodies such as the DPR and similar agencies to enforce the environmental impact assessment.

Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) Nnewi North local government chapter has however condole with the families of those who lost their lives to the inferno.

Chairman of PDP, Engineer Maduka Okoye Ichekwuluche sympathized with the chairman and management of Chikason Group over the accident and also prayed for speedy recovery of the victims who are still receiving treatment in various hospitals in the town.

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