By Joy Odor
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq has sympathyed to the government and people of Imo, Lagos and Ogun States over a deadly explosion which occurred at an illegal oil refining site on Friday night which killed scores of people at Abaezi forest in the Ohaji-Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State.
A statement by her special adviser on media, Ms Nneka Ikem Anibeze and made available to newsmen in Abuja said earlier on Thursday, a tanker ladden with 45,000 litres of PMS crashed and spilled its content across Lagos and Ogun State along Lagos – Ibadan Expressway.
The death of a male adult was however reported.
The Minister decried the explosions in Lagos and Imo states in less than one week interval as incessant, disastrous but avoidable.
Hajiya Umar Farouq caution truck drivers while plying the roads with inflammable substances to apply decorum while declaring the illegal bunkering of petrol in certain areas as a suicidal.
“The incessant occurrences of explosions in Lagos and Imo states are unfortunate but avoidable. The consequences of such dastard acts that led to the death of many people cannot not be over-emphasized.
“Illegal bunkering of petroleum products is a punishable offense under the law, therefore, the culprits should be brought to book to face the full wrath of the law.
“I sincerely sympathize with the families of the victims and pray for the repose of the souls of the dead.
“I also appeal to the people especially the youths to desist from illegal bunkering of petroleum products in the area”.
The Ministry said the rescue operations have commenced with removal of several bodies burnt beyond recognition at the scene of the explosion in Imo state.
It also stated that six vehicles were also razed during the incident