Over hundred persons have being burn to death at Abacheke Kpofire illegal bunkering/refining site at the oil bearing Egbema community of Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State.
The victims, numbering more than 100 died in the fire outbreak as a result of fire outbreak on Friday night. Sources confirmed the incident to newsmen adding that there are uncountable numbers of persons was burnt beyond recognition.
He said some of the affected victims had been buried.
The Imo State Police Command Public Relations Officer, CSP Michael Abatham, also confirmed the incident, describing it as unfortunate.
Meanwhile, the Imo State government has declared wanted Mr.Okenze Onyenwoke, the alleged owner of the illegal refining site located at Abaezi forest in Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State.
Governor Hope Uzodimma made the declaration Saturday through the Commissioner for Petroleum Resources, Hon. Goodluck Opiah, when he visited the site.
The state Commissioner said: “at the moment, I can’t really confirm the number of the deceased because many family members have removed the corpses of so many others.”
He said that apart from being a tragedy, the occurrence has destroyed the aquatic life of the community adding that the people before now are predominantly farmers and fishermen.
He said: “Look around, you’ll find smoke coming from this illegal act. If this is not enough for any person to stop, I think the community is heading for what I can’t describe.”
He alleged that the perpetrators were from Rivers, Bayelsa and other neigbouring states, adding that it is sabotage for the people to allow the illegal act to continue.
He said: “I wish to appeal to our youths to desist from making themselves available for this illegal act. This is a suicidal business they got themselves into”.
On behalf of Imo State government, the governor condoles with the bereaved family while praying God to give the family of those who lost their lives the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.