There was confusion on Monday at Orji, a suburb of Owerri, the Imo State capital, after a gas plant exploded and killed four persons.
The deaths occurred just three days after a truck, laden with diesel, rammed into an 18-seater bus on the Umuaka bridge on the Owerri-Orlu expressway, where 19 persons were burnt to death.
The gas explosion occurred around 4.35pm, at Okpokiri petroleum station, in the vicinity of two commercial banks.
When our correspondent visited the scene of the tragedy around 5pm, four lifeless bodies were sighted.
Pieces of the bodies littered the premises of the plant.
Policemen from the Orji Divisional Police Station, led by the Divisional Police Officer, Ude Umanta, a Superintendent of Police, and others were at the scene of the incident.
The two banks, located opposite and beside the fuel station, were forced to close for the day as part of the buildings were affected by the effect from the explosion.
Some bank customers and motorists at the fuel station were injured and were rushed to the hospital.
One of the survivors, Adubackoja Ochowotia, told our correspondent that while two of his colleagues died on the spot, two members of staff of the filling station equally lost their lives.
Ochowotia, a Benue State indigene said, “We came from Abuja to fix the gas plant. We were working on it when the oxygen exploded and killed two of my colleagues.”
The 28-year-old survivor gave the names of his dead colleagues as Adeyemi Wasiu from Oyo State and one Maruf.
A senior police officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not permitted to speak to the press on the incident, confirmed to our correspondent that four persons died in the explosion.
He stated, “The gas plant exploded around 4.35pm and before we could arrive at the plant, four persons already died. The survivors had been taken to the hospital.
“From our preliminary investigation, it was an explosion from a gas plant that was being worked on by artisans from Abuja.
“The two banks here and some cars were affected. The state Commissioner of Police Chris Ezike, has drafted more men to the scene to help us manage the situation.
“Several buildings around this place, including some people making use of the Automated Teller Machines, were affected. The situation is under control.”
The management of the fuel station refused to speak to The PUNCH on the explosion.