Calabar Kerosene explosion: one die, 16 in critical condition


Efio-Ita Nyok|28 March 2017 
Information reaching our desk has it that one Mrs Anna Utibe, 34, has lost her life to Kerosene explosion as 16 others are in critical condition at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH) over suspected adulteration of the product by marketers.
According to  the Cross River State Commissioner for Health, Dr Inyang Asibong, who visited the victims on Tuesday in the state capital said that the incident happened between March 14 and 27 at different locations in Calabar metropolis.
She explained that the state government had before the incident issued a release through the media to the public, urging them to be careful about the type of kerosene they use.
The Honourable Commissioner, who donated some equipment for the treatment of the victims, said the deceased, a mother of two, died on March 27,as a result of the first degree burns she sustained.
“In the last two weeks, between March 14 and 27, no fewer than 17 persons have been affected by adulterated kerosene explosion in which two kids lost a mother.
“We will get to the root of this problem starting from the marketers to the smaller distributors that are all involved in this ugly act.
“Imagine two little children losing their mother as a result of some people’s greed. This very act is condemnable”, she said.
Asibong warned that anyone caught in the nefarious act would be made to face the full wrath of the law.
Mr Itaya Asuquo-Nyong, the state Commissioner for Petroleum Resources, said that investigation had commenced into the matter with a view to unravel the cause of the explosion.
Asuquo-Nyong said the ministry was working with security agencies in the state to arrest perpetrators of the ugly act.
Prof. Udeme Udeme, Head of Casualty and Emergency Unit, UCTH, who received the equipment, thanked the state government for the kind gesture, saying that equipment would aid in the treatment of the victims.
One of the victims, Mr Anitie Asuquo, 38, told NAN that the explosion occurred on March 27, while he was trying to light up his lantern.
“I came back from work and went out to buy kerosene and unknown to me it has been adulterated.
“As soon as I poured it into my lantern and wanted to light it up; all I heard was an explosion that sounded like a bomb and my whole body was engulfed in flames.
“I am appealing to the state government and concerned individuals to come to my aid because I do not have money to foot my medical bills,” Asuquo appealed.
Ms. Rebecca Itope, 22, told NAN she had her experience on the night of March 23, as she was trying to light up her stove for cooking.
“With injuries to my body, I have missed yet another chance of writing this year’s Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination,” Itope said. 
Efio-Ita Nyok 
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