Tragedy struck in Onitsha, Anambra State, on Wednesday, after a fuel laden tanker fell and exploded with a gory sight of a mother who was burnt beyond recognition with her baby.
The woman who carried her baby and trying to run to safety reportedly attempted to jump out of her shop, but mistakenly stepped on slippery object and fell into the gutter raging with fire.
The area had been covered with the raging inferno as no help could be rendered to her by eyewitness.
The fire incident, it was gathered, started when a tanker laden with petrol, descending from the Zik’s roundabout end of Onitsha -Enugu expressway, lost control around Toronto Hospital and veered off the service lane. The tanker’s head reportedly fell off and went up in flames after spilling its content within the area.
The tanker explosion which happened in Upper Iweka, Onitsha, razed down no fewer than 40 buildings which include two-storey and four-storey buildings.
Also, lock-up shops numbering about 500 were gutted by the inferno along the Iweka street market leading to Ochanja and Menax market .
Some residents in the area was said to have been trapped in the buildings around the area but were rescued by youths who had to climb up to three to four- storey buildings.
Meanwhile, the state’s Police Command confirmed the death of the woman and her child in the Onitsha tanker inferno.
Haruna Mohammed, the spokesperson for the Command explained that the woman and her child were burnt beyond recognition.
He added that their remains had been deposited in a nearby morgue.
The statement reads in part,” Today (Wednesday) at about a trailer loaded with petroleum product lost control at upper iweka, on the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway, Onitsha and crashed inside a pavement in between the expressway.
“As a result, the fire spilled over through the gutter and affected many shops and houses.
“The Commissioner of Police John Abang visited the scene for on the spot assessment and appealed to the residents to remain calm.
“Fire Service department was equally contacted.
“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.”