Posted on May 08, 2018 by Ashleigh Cowie
Residents around Port Harcourt were evacuated after a fire swept across several vessels leaving 5 people missing and feared dead.
Local people living in Woji were forced to follow emergency procedures on Thursday 5th May after vessels laden with petroleum products caught fire.
Quickly after the blaze began, the ships began emitting heavy smoke and soot in to the sky.
The fire is thought to have begun on an illegal oil bunkering boat. A welder is reported to have failed to take basic fire safety precautions at the dock yard.
Witnesses at the scene recalled the sight as all surrounding vessels went up in flames within minutes of the initial blaze starting on the illegal vessel.
Fire teams were at the scene quickly but were unable to put out the fire.
Unconfirmed reports suggest that at least five people are missing and believed to be dead. Many others are unaccounted for at this point.
The extent of the vessel damage is still unknown.
Local community leader, Eze Emeka G. Ihunwo, has condemned the activities of the oil bunkers as a pollutant to the local environment. He is calling on security agents to increase their presence in the area.
Residents are believed to be back in their houses but have voiced their concerns about the health implications of the blaze.
An investigation is underway.