On Friday night, an illegal refinery exploded in the Abaezi forest in Imo State’s Ohaji-Egbema Local Government Area, killing at least 100 persons.
Six vehicles were also destroyed during the tragedy, which caused widespread alarm in the community.
On Saturday, a significant number of people flocked to the location of the tragedy to see the sad occurrence.
At the scene of the explosion, journalists counted over 50 victims that had been burned beyond recognition.
The state Commissioner for Petroleum Resources, Goodluck Opiah, who is an indigene of Egbema has said that the state government had declared the owner of the illegal refinery, Okenze Onyenwoke, wanted.
He advised the suspect whom he said was on the run to turn himself in at the nearest police station.
The commissioner said, “This is a sad development. The Imo State Government has declared wanted, Okenze Onyenwoke, who owns this illegal refinery. I advise him to hand himself over to the police or any security agency.
“This is wickedness. This is economic sabotage. It is also destroying our youths. I, therefore, call on the youths to go away from this kind of illegal business. There are so many legitimate businesses one could do to make genuine money.”
An indigene of the community who identified himself simply as Ejike said, “Nobody survived the incident. Those who were rescued yesterday have all died this morning. The casualty figure is over 100. This is sad. People are rushing to look for their relations but the unfortunate thing is that the victims were burnt beyond recognition.”