It was a tragic experience for road users and sellers at the Unizik Junction Awka yesterday, as fire engulfed a petrol station located at the popular junction.
Correspondent, Emmanuel Okonkwo reports that when Anambra Broadcasting Service, ABS, visited the scene, men of the Anambra state Fire Service and some good spirited individuals were seen battling with the inferno to reduce damage in the area.
Officers and men of Road Safety Corps and Anambra Traffic Management Agency, as well as officials of Awka Capital Territory Development Authority, ACTDA, were also on ground to ensure safety of road users in the area.
The incident though did not claim any life, badly razed the petrol station, burnt a car and some motorcycles parked at the station, and as well caused a heavy gridlock on all the routes connecting to the Enugu/Onitsha expressway, as people scampered for safety.
According to the driver of the petrol tanker where the fire erupted who refused to speak to journalists on camera, the fire started from the tanker and escalated to the petrol station.
Speaking to the Journalists after cordoning off the scene with his men, the Managing Director of Awka Capital Territory Development Authority, Venerable Amaechi Okwuosa who described the incident as unfortunate, called on dealers of flammable substances in the state to always stick to fire prevention measures, including provision of fire extinguisher, drilling of borehole facilities in the stations.
Venerable Okwuosa warned petrol station owners against building stations in prohibited locations, and restated the commitment of the agency towards ensuring that petrol stations are not situated in areas that will endanger lives and property.
In separate interviews, some eyewitnesses, including Barrister Joseph Ananti, and Mr Afamefuna Onyema commended good spirited individuals who assisted the state Fire Service in battling the inferno, and called on Anambra state government to further equip the Fire Service, to enable them respond adequately during fire outbreak in any part of the state.
For a young man from Mgbakwu, Awka North Local Government Area, Mr Igwebuike Muokwuo who lost his barely two months old motorcycle to the inferno at the petrol station, the fire erupted unexpectedly as he was about approaching the fuel station for his motorcycle.
He however pleaded with the state government and privileged individuals to come to his aid as the motorcycle is his only source of livelihood.news 555