A tanker supplying Premium Motor Spirit to a filling station in the St. John’s area, Iwofe Road, Obio Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State, has exploded and the ensuing inferno razed a nearby building and other property with millions of naira.
The incident happened in the early hours of Tuesday after the tanker had finished discharging its content into the reserved tanks of the station.
It was gathered that it took the intervention of youths in the area to extinguish the fire before the arrival of the state fire service personnel.
An eyewitness, who simply identified himself as Promise, said the fire started from the tanker and affected a nearby building and a gas tank.
He said, “Around 6am on Tuesday, I came to meet someone and while I was waiting near the filling station, I saw a tanker at the filling station discharging petrol and in the process, fire sparked from underneath the tanker and it exploded.
“After the explosion, people became scared. I immediately started running around telling neighbours to come and move their parked cars away from here.
“We started calling the state fire service but to no avail; immediately, residents picked up buckets to fetch water, while others volunteered detergents and we started fighting the fire. We successfully extinguished the fire at the nearby buildings around 8am. It was then that the fire service personnel came, so some angry youths turned them back because the fire was already extinguished.”
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Government said it had constituted a team to minimise incidents of gas explosion across the state.
The Commissioner for Energy and Natural Resources, Dr Peter Medee, gave the hint at the explosion scene, adding that the government was also sustaining its efforts at sensitising residents of the state on the causes and dangers of such incidents.