Tragedy struck in Okwe area of Asaba, Delta State capital where a four-month old baby was among five dead casualties following an explosion at a gas retail outlet close to the market in the area.
Other victims include a three-year old girl and her mother, as well as two teenagers, of the same family, who had come to purchase biscuits at the provision shop near the gas retail shop.
Besides, the resulting fire from the explosion razed three shops including the gas retail shop.
The fire was said to have started from the gas retail shop located near the market after a gas cylinder fell down and spewed its content into the air, causing two smaller cylinders to fly into neighbouring buildings.
According to community sources, the gas fumes spewed into the air by the two cylinders ignited the stove used by the now deceased mother simply identified as Ada, to prepare a meal for her children.
“The fire started at about 1:30 p.m. at Okwe market. The fire started when a large gas cylinder fell on the floor with a loud crash causing two cylinders to fly into neighboring shops, and nearby buildings, but no life was lost.
“But fire started from the fire being used by Ada who came with her four-month old baby and her little son to pay a visit to her friend, Jennifer, the owner of the shop who had gone to Onitsha to purchase goods for her provision shop,” an eyewitness volunteered.
The eyewitness said that the fire spread to neighbouring shops causing panic, adding that Ada died from burns after she tried to rescue her children sleeping inside the shop.
“The fire spread rapidly causing panic, but the mother of two realized that her children were inside and tried desperately to rescue her sleeping children inside but, was too late as she and her children were burnt. Two children who came to the shop to make a purchase were also burnt in the fire incident,” the eyewitness added.