One person was reported dead, two others are receiving treatment for injuries as series of explosions continue to rock Bomadi Council Area of Delta State. The explosions most likely happened because of adulterated kerosene usage.
There have been several blasts in different parts of the community. Mrs. Dinnes Ekpe, mother-of-three from Enekorogha community, has died on the way to a local hospital due to poor accessibility to medical facilities in the area. Two other victims, Mrs. Bideke Smith, mother-of-six, and Mrs. Joy Kenneth are battling for their lives in Bomadi hospitals.
"The once beautiful woman is now like a living ghost after the explosion of the fire incidence," an eyewitness says. The woman was cooking when the stove exploded and the flames engulfed her. The neighbours put off the fire and rushed her to a hospital. The woman is responding to treatment but, is, according to the witness, "wrapped in bandages."
It seems that fears of kerosene explosion now pervade the riverside communities of the state, as adulterated kerosene is being sold there. People live in constant fear of accidents caused by using the adulterated kerosene.
Community leader Chief Richard Enaredei confirmed prevalence of the "killer" kerosene in the Ijaw-speaking communities in Delta State.
He said: "The fear generated by kerosene explosion in the communities is causing families to shun the use of kerosene, which is the people's only means of cooking. Many people are lying critical ill in the hospital as a result of injuries suffered from kerosene fire incidents."He appealed to state and Federal governments to investigate the explosions.
A relative of one of the victims said his sister bought the kerosene from a filling station in Bomadi. Another source, however, traced the adulterated kerosene to products of the local illegal refineries across the Niger Delta region.
Apparently, filling stations purchase vast amounts of products from local refineries at cheaper amount, mix them and sell them back to consumers at the official pump price for greater profit. The business is booming due to the high patronage by registered filling stations, the source alleged.
Nigeria is one of the largest oil and gas producers in the world. But larger part of the nation's oil revenue goes to illegal oil dealers. The average Nigerian lives below $1 daily as poverty benchmark.
The NNPC (Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation) has previously warned Nigerians, especially those residing in Delta and Edo States, to desist from buying kerosene from unauthorized outlets and dealers as they run the risk of buying adulterated product that could result in explosions and fire accidents.