At least four persons are feared dead as fire engulfed an illegal crude oil refining site at the Rumuji-Ibaa river in Emuoha Local Government area of Rivers State.
The Guardian gathered that seven other peoples sustained serious degree burns.
An eyewitness, one Mr Onyema Okoro told journalists in Port Harcourt that residents of 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. “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.
According to Okoro, seven persons who survived but sustained serious burns were rushed 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.
The spokesman of the State police command, Nnamdi Omoni, said he was yet to get a report of the incident.
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