Warri — PANDEMONIUM broke out in three communities in Warri, Delta State, in the early hours of yesterday, when residents saw a smoldering boat loaded with illegally refined diesel, allegedly set ablaze by Navy personnel, floating on the waters.
Vanguard learnt that residents of Firewood village, Ogbogbebene and Sandfill villages ran helter-skelter because of fear that the fire might engulf their communities.
It was learnt that Navy personnel, at about 5.00 am, intercepted the boat laden with illegally refined diesel, suspected to have been brought for sale in Warri by oil thieves.
The suspected oil thieves probably jumped into the river to escape arrest, but men of the Navy, who intercepted the boat, reportedly set it ablaze.
The blazing boat, with no pilot, glided towards some harboured houseboats, near Nigeria Ports Authority, NPA, Warri, which also caught fire.
A human rights activist, Comrade Austin Ozobo, who condemned the attitude of the Navy in setting the boat ablaze, said: "What they did is harmful to the environment."