By David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
A truck loaded with petroleum product Wednesday exploded at Upper Iweka, Onitsha in Anambra State, killing a woman and her baby, while also burning down several shops.
An eyewitness at Upper Iweka, the site of the incident, said the truck lost control and rammed into the wall of the popular Toronto Hospital before exploding.
The Police Public Relations Officer, SP Haruna Mohammed, confirmed the incident, saying that as at the time of filling this report, only the unidentified woman and her baby have been lost to the fire.
He said: “Today 16/10/2019 at about 12:59 pm, a trailer loaded with petroleum product lost control at Upper Iweka, along Enugu-Onitsha Expressway, Onitsha and crashed inside a pavement in between the expressway.
“Its product spilled over through the gutter and affected many shops and houses.
“The Commissioner of Police, Mr. John B. Abang, visited the scene for an on-the-spot assessment and appealed to the residents to remain calm. Fire Service department was equally contacted.
“Meanwhile, a yet to be identified woman and her baby caught up by the inferno and burnt beyond recognition were rushed to Toronto Hospital but certified dead by a medical doctor while receiving treatment.”
Mohammed said police patrol teams have cordoned off the area to prevent hoodlums from taking advantage to loot, while effort is still ongoing to put out the fire.
An eyewitness, Mrs Angela Obi, who narrated the incident to THISDAY, said: “I still can’t believe that only two people died from that incident. Onitsha today was something else, and it was almost as if the world was coming to an end.
“People were running helter skelter, and some of us thought that more then 50 persons had already died.”