At least four persons are feared dead and seven other people sustained burns as fire engulfed an illegal crude oil refining site at the Rumuji-Ibaa river in Emuoha Local Government Area of Rivers State.An eyewitness, Mr Onyema Okoro who spoke with journalists in Port Harcourt said residents in the area woke up to see the huge flame on the river, while a thick black smoke billowing into the atmosphere.
“The fire was even entering the bush,” Okoro said. “When the fire came down we saw a boat on fire. The people that were inside, no one was seen coming out.
“People were also scared going close the place. Later when people got there, they found out it was four persons that were burnt,” he added.
Okoro further stated that seven persons who survived with serious burns were immediately taken into the villages for treatment.
“Some people that the fire touched ran into the bush. The ones they could rescue they took them to the village. But all the chemist shops there said they cannot treat that kind of fire burns.
“So, I don’t know what happened to them again. But for the ones that died, they buried them there because they said according to tradition when people die like that they don’t take them home” he stated.
He, however said people from the village were seen coming out to buy raw eggs which he said they would use to help in the treatment of the survivors in the inferno.
However when Guardian contacted the spokesman of the State police command, Nnamdi Omoni, said he was yet to get a report of the incident.