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Hundreds of worshipers narrowly escaped fire burn in Nnewi

By Ugbede Usman

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An early morning fire that gutted a petrol station would have consumed scores of worshipers attending morning Mass at the Our Lady of Assumption Cathedral, Nnewi, Anambra State but they escaped.

The fire outbreak which happened at about 7am on Friday caused commotion among the worshipers who were still making their way out of the church after morning mass when Great V. Max Oil & Gas petrol station located along Nnobi Road, Nnewi adjacent to the church was gutted by fire.

According to the station manager, Umaru Sanda, the explosion happened when fuel was being transfer from one tanker to the other.

He said, “The fire started when we were trans-loading diesel from a bigger tanker to another smaller one. We connected pumping machine from the bigger tanker to the smaller one. Along the line, the pipe connecting the two tankers from the machine pulled off, and the gas started pouring on the ground. When we were still mobilizing to fix the pipe, the heated pumping machine sparked fire; destroying the entire dispensing machines, the gas tanker, and a lot of other things.”

Traders and transporters in the vicinity were seen evacuating their goods while fire fighters from Nnewi were seen battling to put off the fire.
Chinelo who is a pump attendant at the petrol station said she noticed when the fuel leaked and poured out and that she tried to notify the people but response never came early before the first started.

She said, “I was attending to motorists when the fire started. I noticed that the pipe connecting the two vehicles from the pumping machine pulled off, and diesel was pouring all over the place. I raised the alarm; but before we knew it, the fire had started.”

She added that the fire had already destroyed things before the fire service from Nnewi responded. She said fire service from Nnewi responded as soon as they were informed; but that the fire had destroyed a lot of things.

Matters, Mr. Peter Nwosu, the Special Assistant to Governor Willie Obiano on Petroleum cum the chairman of NUPENG, Anambra State and the Divisional Police Officer of Otolo Police Station, Mr. Hassan, said the incident was a big loss and that operators of petrol should handle it with care.


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