An explosion at the Nembe-Bonny Jetty Waterfront in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has killed at least 10 people, including a pregnant woman and three children and destroyed seven houseboats. Many others also sustained burns following the incident that took place on Monday afternoon.
John, an eyewitness, reported that over 40 people, including children, were transporting stolen petroleum products from the Kula community to Port Harcourt using a boat when a cigarette smoker threw his cigarette butt into the sea. Unfortunately, a significant amount of oil had spilt into the water and caught in a fire. The flames then spread across the jetty, engulfing boats, shops, and wares nearby. Boat operators and business owners could be seen at the boat station after the incident, salvaging valuable items.
“We are still searching for bodies. Most of those we have found have been burnt beyond recognition. Over 10 bodies including children and adults have been recovered so far,” John said, as per Sahara Reporters.
“Immediately the incident happened at 12 p.m., we called the fire service but they did not show up until hours later. When they got here, people chased them away out of anger because the fire had already caused a lot of destruction at the time.
“Everywhere is in chaos; people are trying to see what they can save from their items. We cannot ascertain the number of dead persons at the moment.”
Those who sustained burns from the incident were rushed to the hospital.