Tragedy struck in a family of six as kerosene explosion killed 45 year old father, two children and his brother-in-law

Tragedy struck in a family of six as kerosene explosion killed 45-year-old father, two children and his brother-in-law in Ikot Ekpo community of 8 miles, Calabar, the Cross River state.

The sad incident which was suspected to be caused by adulterated kerosene happened on Monday night when the surviving daughter was asked by the mother who also survived the fire to refill the kerosene lantern on doing that, the lantern exploded, she threw it and ran out of the house.

Confirming the incident, the Landlord, Efiom Offiong Efanga, said, “I had a call at about a minute to ten O’clock that there was a fire outbreak in my compound so I had to rush down here. By the time I got here, the neighbours had succeeded in putting out the fire but they did not know initially that people had actually been burnt inside because it seems there were no screams.

“It was after the fire was extinguished that we discovered three persons inside who were already dead. Another victim, who was also fatally burnt, was rushed to the hospital but he gave up the ghost on the way and so his dead body was brought back.

“The only survivor among the children is the daughter. I met her in that Church close to my compound very frightened. She told me that the mom asked the elderly brother to refuel the lantern but the boy refused and went inside, and that after some minute, the mom decided to send her to refuel the lantern and that as soon as she poured the kerosene into the already lit but dim lantern, there was a huge explosion so she threw the lantern away and ran out. She said the mother was outside easing herself when the explosion occurred.”

The name of the deceased was given as Esuabana Thomas Okon while his two children who died with him were Okon Esua Thomas aged 14 and Edet Esua Thomas, 12. The In-law, Mathias, also perished in the inferno. They were indigenes of Ukwa Eburutu in Odukpani local government of the State.

Our reporter, who spoke with the landlord of the deceased and relation, gathered that Esuabana’s wife and his daughter survived the inferno.

Describing the incident as a mystery, a relative of the late Esuabana, Mr. Samuel Inyang, revealed that, “the incident happened in the kitchen. The four persons who died were in the room but we cannot explain why they could not run out from the door. How can our kerosene be exploding like bombs? It is a mystery that the door was opened but our brother and his children and in-law could not escape. The fire incident started in the kitchen, not the room, and they had every opportunity to have escaped but they could not. It is a mystery.”

Inyang, who on a second thought suspected that the kerosene must have been adulterated said, “Bunkering kerosene is believed to be responsible for all these explosions. The government should rise to the occasion and save the lives of Nigerians.” He appealed.



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