Scene of the tanker incident
What could have been a major tragedy has reportedly been averted in Ebem community; Ohafia Local Government Area of Abia State after a tanker carrying Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS) overturned and spilt its content on the road.
Ohafia is one of the busiest towns in Abia State outside Aba and Umuahia, the state capital and home for prominent personalities in the state including former Minister of Finance, Kalu Idika Kalu whose house is said to be some distance to the fire incident.
It was gathered that the truck was negotiating into a Petrol station located along the busy Uzoakoli-Ohafia-Arochukwu road that crisscrossed across major communities; Okagwe-Amaekpu-Elu-Ebem-Akanu-Ndiibe before it overturned and discharged its content on the road.
Sources at the area told our reporter that property worth billions of cash would have gone into flame if not for the timely intervention of other road users and commercial water tank operators who supported efforts of residents and shop owners to ensure that there was no fire outbreak.
According to a source, “the tanker was entering the filing station when suddenly the part carrying fuel started falling off from the head and before you know it, the content started spilling on the ground.
“Thank God that some shop owners and some commercial tanker drivers joined hands, using water and soap to pour on the surface of the road to avert what could have been a major disaster in the area.
“You know that there is nothing like fire service here. So, it was God and self help that helped us to contain the situation. We had to stop vehicles coming from opposite directions and warned people not to attempt scooping fuel with plastic or anything.
“We are aware of the incident at Onitsha, Anambra State. Ogbete in Enugu State just happened recently.
“The way we build our houses here is that the houses are close to each other. You can imagine what it would have been if we had waited a little bit?”
The source who gave his name as Igwe used the opportunity to call on the government to establish a Fire Service Station in their area, stressing that Ohafia, Abiriba, Uzoakoli, Igbere cannot always rely on the Firetruck from Umuahia the state capital to put out the fire in the area.
When contacted, a source at the state fire service who lamented lack of manpower and working equipment stated that they would be willing to establish their station in a strategic point in Abia North to help combat any challenge of fire outbreak in the area.
The source warned that people should desist from keeping in their homes any object that will ignite or enhance fire outbreak.