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PETROAN sheds light on the root cause of Eleme fire disaster



According to the Petroleum Product Retail Outlet Owners Association of Nigeria (PETROAN), the recent fire outbreak in the Eleme area along the East-West Road in Rivers State, resulting in significant damage and loss of lives, was triggered by a vehicular accident.

Francis Dimkpa, the State Chairman of PETROAN, clarified that a collision between a heavy-duty vehicle and a petrol-laden truck in heavy traffic caused the valve of the petrol truck to open, leading to the ignition of the spilled petrol due to the heat generated from the collision, resulting in a fire and subsequent explosion.

Expressing concerns over the incident, Dimkpa stressed that proper road maintenance could have potentially averted such a tragedy, highlighting PETROAN’s continuous appeals to the government for road repairs.

“The anguish stems from the fact that the loss of lives and properties could have been prevented,” Dimkpa expressed.

Dimkpa also raised alarm about the dissemination of inaccurate information by individuals who were not present at the scene, attributing the fire incident to a tanker explosion.

Addressing the losses incurred by PETROAN members and the public, Dimkpa mentioned that the association would convene to determine the necessary actions.

“It’s even more heartbreaking for us, the members of the Petroleum Product Retail Outlet Owners Association of Nigeria, that individuals who did not witness the incident are claiming that the fire resulted from a tanker explosion,” Dimkpa stated.

“Our members at the scene confirmed to us that the fire was a consequence of a road accident exacerbated by traffic congestion. It is painful to witness the repercussions of a substandard Eleme Road,” he added.

“We have lamented this issue, expressed our concerns, and we are deeply grieved.”

Moreover, Dimkpa outlined that the association would deliberate at its congress on the way forward following the losses suffered by its members and the public due to the accidental fire caused not by a tanker explosion but by a road mishap on the substandard road.

When inquired by NewsNow about the casualties, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Rivers State Command, assured to provide updates soon.

As of the time of reporting, the exact number of casualties remains unknown.

However, reports from NewsNow indicate that several vehicles were engulfed in flames during the incident, with some individuals trapped in cars burnt beyond recognition.