Seven persons died in last Friday’s tanker fire at Amawbia, Awka South Local Government Area of Anambra State.
The accident happened about 9.20pm at Amawbia Round about, close to the Governor’s Lodge.
Six buildings, 10 shops and 15 vehicles were burnt.
The shops close to the house of the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mike Okoli, were burnt, with goods worth over N300 million destroyed, according to some of the victims.
Okoli, who regretted the accident, said he saw God’s hand at work in his life.
One of the victims, 71-year-old Richard Nwosu, from Agulu, Anaocha council, said he lost goods worth about N4 million.
Two brothers from Ogboji, Orumba council – Nnaka Chikwado (42) and Nnaka Stanley (39) – lamented that the materials they just imported from China got burnt. Their rice shops, including the materials, amounted to about N10 million.
Madam Chinonyelum Edozie, a food seller, who also sells fabrics, said she has taken the incident as God’s design. She was smiling with sympathisers and praising God.
Eze Maureen (38) from Enugu State, who sells clothes and drinks in two different shops, lost everything to the fire.
She said she would not allow the incident weigh her down, adding that no matter what happens, people should give glory to God according to biblical injunctions.
Police spokesman Haruna Mohammed, who confirmed the incident, said seven persons died.
He said: “About 8:30pm on Friday, there was a fire incident caused by petrol tanker explosion at Amawbia roundabout in Awka. Seven persons were certified dead at the hospital while the only surviving victim was referred to the University Teaching Hospital in Nnewi.
“Of the seven bodies, three are deposited at Amaku General Hospital Morgue, two at Regina Caeli Hospital and another two at Piston Hospital Morgue for post-mortem examination
“Meanwhile, the situation was brought under control and obstruction cleared. Investigation is still ongoing.”
Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar has condoled with the people over the accident.
Atiku’s message, contained in a statement by his Vice Presidential candidate, Peter Obi, said: “…please accept my deepest condolences to the families and friends of those who may have lost a dear one…”
Atiku prayed God to grant families of the deceased the comfort and strength to bear the loss.
He, however, called on relevant authorities to investigate the incident and support the victims.