A fuel tanker reportedly caught fire on Friday, while discharging diesel at a filling station along Nnewi-Nnobi Road, Nnewi, in Anambra State.
Residents were sent into panicking when the fire later escalated to shops along the road.
It was gathered that the incident occurred around 8 am on Friday morning.
The real cause of the fire incident was not known, but an eyewitness said the incident happened when a truck loaded with diesel attempted to transfer the product to another smaller tanker at the filling station.
“The fire incident started few minutes after 8 am on Friday morning when a big truck was transferring diesel to a smaller truck at the filling station. The hose of a generator they were using to do the transfer was said to have pulled out and the diesel then spread on the generator which started the fire,” Mr. Val Okonkwo, a trader who has a shop close to the filling station told Vanguard.
“As the fire started, the people at the filling station tried in vain to put it off with the available fire extinguisher. The fire became increasingly high and the driver of the smaller tanker quickly drove off to enable the bigger tanker to also drive out, but before they could complete this process they fire had spread out of the filling station to the road and both sides of the gutters on the road.
“The driver of the big tanker was nearly trapped by the fire, he escaped by whiskers. And the diesel flew along the two drainages burning anything on its way, but the Nnewi Fire Service quickly arrived at the scene, combated the fire and succeeded in putting it off,” he said.
The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Organizer Oil and Gas Ltd, Nnewi, visited the scene of the incident, he expressed sympathy for the patrol station owner who he described as one of their own.
He said he came there in solidarity and to ensure that the fire is completely put out, expressed satisfaction with the conduct and resilience of the youths who contributed in putting off the fire.
“I am highly impressed that youths in Nnewi trooped out in numbers to help fight the fire, that is the real spirit of Igbo man, the Onyeaghala Nwanneya ‘Dont abandon your brother or sister spirit’ of Igbo people.”
“On the people’s complaint about building of filling station near residential houses, he said “Wherever you site a filling station even in an evil forest, buildings would soon spring up there. Caution should rather be applied in managing patrol stations, not the site,” the chairman said.
There was no casualty recorded in the incidents, though, the long truck, a motorcycle, generator, and the dispensing meters at the filling station were all destroyed by the fire.