6 August 2007

Nigeria: Pregnant Woman, 3 Children Die in Kerosine Explosion

Port Harcourt — The spate of kerosene explosions rocking different parts of the country over adulterated productsyesterday claimed the lives of a pregnant woman, Mrs.Mene Kpugi Fadeh and her three children at Railway Quarters in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. This is as commercial sex workers numbering about 300lost their place of trade and belongings to a dawn inferno which ravaged their "One in Town Hotel" at Rumuomasi in Port Harcourt.

Her husband and one of his sons however survived theinferno with serious degree of burns and have been rushed to an undisclosed hospital for medicalattention. Eye witness accounts have it that the late Mrs. Fadeh and her three children who have been buried had in the early hours of yesterday tried to light their lantern after a power outage when the incident occurred.

Although details were scanty, a neighbour who lost all her belongings in the ensuing inferno said she was woken by shouts of fire by other people in nearby apartments by which time she said the woman and her children were already dead.

"I just woke up at midnight to hear the cry of some of our neighbors, saying fire, fire, fire but before we could rush to the scene, the woman and her three children had already died. "In my own case, I lost the N67, 000 someone gave meto keep for him and all property in the house. This is a pathetic case and I don't know what to do", shelamented.

Officials of the Nigerian National PetroleumCorporation who spoke on condition of anonymity blamedthe cases of kerosene adulteration on tanker driverswho use trucks used to deliver petrol to also loadkerosene before washing them.On the burning of the brothel, no immediate cause ofthe inferno could be ascertained though someresidents of Wopara Street where the brothel islocated said the inferno was "good riddance to badrubbish" due to the problem the ladies of easy virtuebring to them.Some of the commercial sex workers told THISDAY thatthey lost all their belongings and money in theinferno and blamed one of them they simply referred toas "Caro" for the fire since she was in the habit ofusing cooking gas in the congested apartments.

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