An inferno at Upper Iweka area of Onitsha, Anambra State has left a woman and her baby dead and over 40 buildings razed after a tanker explosion on Wednesday night.
According to report, over 500 lock-up shops were destroyed by the fire along with the Iweka street market leading to Ochanja and Menax markets.
A tanker fully loaded with Premium Motor Spirit, popularly known as petrol, descending from the Zik’s roundabout end of Onitsha-Enugu expressway, was said to have lost control at Toronto Hospital and veered off the service lane.
The head of the tanker reportedly fell off and went up in flames after spilling its content within the area.
The woman, who was said to be carrying her baby to jump out of her shop, mistakenly stepped on a slippery object and fell straight into the gutter raging with fire, Guardian reports.
She could not be rescued as the inferno covered the entire area.
According to an eyewitness, the fire started at about 10:00 a.m. and there was no presence of fire servicemen at the scene.
“You can see people looking helplessly as their houses, shops, and goods are burning. If not for the courage of some youths, some elderly persons and children trapped in some highrise buildings along Iweka road would have perished in the fire as smoke almost suffocated them before they were rescued,” he said.