Ola ‘Kiya, Reporting
RESIDENTS of a house beside Goddy Edosa Motors Company Nigeria Ltd and the sprawling edifice of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Mount Zion Mega Parish, Effurun, Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State, escaped death and destruction during gas explosions Monday night.
The residents of the one-storey residential building escaped death by the whiskers when a gas tank from Nelmic Gas Station, located directly opposite Goddy Edosa Motors Company Nigeria Ltd, exploded and flew into the air, dismantled a high tension power on its way, crossed over the dual carriage Effurun-Sapele road and landed under and overhead water tank in front of the house.
Cracks from the impact were seen on the decked balcony of the building part of which the tank shattered. The ceilings and louvres of the house crumbled. The house was shaken to its foundation. But no life was lost.
The explosions affected Uvwie residents living far away from the scenes as ceilings of houses caved in and window louvres shattered.
The fence of an incompleted structure by the right side of the gas station was flattened with smoke still bellowing from the debris as of the time of visit.
A car in far away Ovie Palace junction, which was in motion during the earthquaking explosions, reportedly caught fire.
Scores of curious residents, who came for site-seeing during the inferno got more than they bargained for as many of them lost their skin and valuables such as phones and goitwares when loud explosions followed.
Although the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Delta Police Command, DSP Bright Edafe, said only one person was injured, those actually injured were in scores, eyewitnesses averred, who invaded the scene to shoot videos.
As of Tuesday morning when Stonix News visited the scene, a huge crowd of idle youths, comprising boys and girls, men and women, were seen gathered in groups discussing the tragedy.
This led to vehicular hiccups along the ever busy road, but security agents from the military joint task force, who were on hand, had their hands full in trying to control traffic and the adamant crowd.
More crowd of people poured in from across Warri, Effurun and environs perhaps to feed their eyes with the loud noise that rudely rocked their sleep the previous night.
The owner of the gas, whose name could not be ascertained, was said to have closed shop for about a year before resuming business last December. He was said to be selling his gas N700 per kg, the cheapest in the vicinity before others followed suit.
One of the tanks, which exploded during the raging fire, was flattened and flung from the premises of the gas station against the massive wall of the two storey office building under construction. The flattened metal laid flat against the wall, preventing it from reaching an all-glass cathedral building of RCCG with which they share a fence.
Eyewitnesses said what saved the RCCG mega structure was the direction of the wind that suddenly began which blew the huge flames away from the direction of the church building towards the bushy canal behind the gas station. The vegetation was not spared as the huge inferno pierced through the grove. Checks revealed abandoned foot wares of curious emergency citizen journalists who went to video the huge flames from behind before the explosions began.
Checks at the premises of the gas plant revealed some heaps of burnt onions kept by the Hausa guards guiding the place. Obviously some of their colleagues were allowed to keep their wares overnight in the premises.
Another of the gas tanks, which exploded after the fire, was flattened and part of it flung from the premises of the gas station against the massive wall of the two-storey office building under construction.
The flattened metal was seen leaning against the wall, preventing it from reaching an all-glass cathedral building of RCCG with which they share a fence.
Witnesses said during the bedlam, what saved the RCCG mega structure was the direction of the wind that suddenly began which blew the huge flames away from the direction of the church building towards the bushy canal behind the gas station.
The Grove behind the gas plant was not spared as the huge inferno pierced through the vegetation. Abandoned rubber foot wares of those who witnessed the inferno who scampered into the woods during the sudden explosion were sighted flung in different directions.
In the premises of the gas plant were some heaps of burnt onions kept by the Hausa guards guiding the place; the men were sighted looking forlorn, staring at the waste of their livelihoods.