Black Tuesday in Orlu …As explosion, crash claim 12 lives By Victor-Clark Alisigwe

Twelve persons lost their lives in Orlu Local Government Area of Imo State last Tuesday in two tragic incidents that rocked the city.

In the first incident, three persons died as a gas tank exploded during a routine maintenance at Sea Master Industries Limited, an Oil Mill, at Amaifeke.

Later in the day, seven persons, among whom were two brothers, lost their lives in a vehicle crash along Total Filling Station in the city centre.

Narrating their ordeal at the oil mill, an engineer who survived the explosion, Mr. Ugochukwu Okorie, said that the incident occurred when they tried to open the second tank in preparation for washing it.

In the process, the tank exploded, killing the other three workers involved in the maintenance.

Okorie thanked God for saving his life as the damage was much.

The Traditional ruler of Ofeahia Autonomous Community, Eze A.O. Nwaele, was at the scene to sympathize with the company and the families of the deceased staff.

Others who rushed to the scene called on appropriate authorities to look into the matter and establish the true cause of the explosion as the routine maintenance was not strange to the industry.

They also called for adequate compensation for the victims as well as necessary aid to save the company from folding and so avoid job losses.

In the second development, an eye witness said that an Akwa Ibom State Transport Company bus which was on speed on the busy Amaigbo road lost control and hit the two brothers traveling on a motorcycle, Mr Ajomiwe Nzeogu, a representative of the Young Shall Grow Motors Ltd in Orlu, and his younger brother, Mr. Chinonso Nzeogu from Umudimoha Amike.

The bus went ahead to crush seven others, including a pregnant woman.

Meanwhile, the people of Orlu particularly those who live or do business along the major Amaigbo/Nkwerre road have appealed to the federal and state governments to find a lasting solution to the incessant road crashes that occur on the road most of which are traceable to the bus company.

The same Akwa Ibom State Transport Company bus had last year, crushed Mr. Lazarus Nwosu of the same Umudimoha village to death.


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