Criticisms Trail Anambra Gas Explosion

Channels Television  
Updated December 26, 2015

AnambraComplaints, blames and confusion by some residents have trailed the gas plant explosion in the industrial town of Nnewi, Anambra State.

While some of the residents in the area complained that the site of the gas plant was abnormal, others blamed the company’s activities for the ugly incident.

They accused the company of engaging in supply and delivery of cooking gas at the same time to a very large crowd of customers which aggravated the leakage that led to the explosion.

The explosion, which occurred on Friday in Nigeria’s southeast region, was so intense that nearby buildings were destroyed, while a block industry, construction garage and farmlands were not spared.

Some occupants of one of the affected buildings, Obinna Okeke and Emmanuel Ezeani, said that their matriarch was burnt to death while the building was badly damaged.

They condemned the location of the gas plant, asking for it to be removed from the residential area.

As the blames and the accusations went on, the incident was also accompanied by conflicting reports of the number of deaths recorded.

While the Anambra State Commissioner of Police, Hassan Karma, said that the death toll stood at eight and the injured was six, one of the residents, Benedict Nwachukwu, claimed otherwise, saying he counted up to 62 corpses, but could not say when the bodies were moved and where they were kept.

Also reacting to the differing death figure was the former Deputy Governor of Anambra State, Virgy Etiaba, who made a fact finding visit to Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital Nnewi, where the bodies of the victims were said to have been kept.

Information gathered at the hospital, in the absence of the Chief Medical Director was in consonance with the account of the state’s Police Commissioner confirming eight dead and six injured with only five bodies in the morgue.

The mortician at Nnewi Diocesan Hospital also said that no corpse from the accident was deposited in the hospital morgue.

Stricken with grief over the calamity that befell his subject and owner of the gas plant, the traditional ruler of Nnewi, Igwe Kenneth Orizu,  sympathised with him and the entire Nnewi community.