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8 Jan 2018

Heartbreaking: Kerosene explodes, kills mother, three children in Calabar

A mother, Mrs. Nseobong Uduak, has been killed alongside her three children in an explosion suspected to have been caused by adulterated kerosene in their home in the Eight Miles axis of Calabar, Cross River State.
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The incident, which was said to have happened late Sunday, has caused scare as residents have expressed reservations over suspected adulterated kerosene in circulation.

An eyewitness said on Monday that the victims were confirmed dead at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital where their burnt bodies were taken to.

The source, who identified herself as Rachael Akpan, said the explosion took place at No. 124, Murtala Mohammed Highway, Ikot Omin in Eight Miles, Calabar.

She gave the names of two children as Miracle (10) and Silas (three), while that of a two-month-old baby, could not be ascertained.

It was learnt that the two-bedroom apartment occupied by the victims was razed and property worth millions of naira destroyed.

Akpan said the incident happened when one of the victims, Miracle, wanted to pour kerosene into a lantern on her mother’s instruction.

She said, “I was in my apartment when I heard something explode like bomb.

“When I rushed out, I saw my neighbour’s apartment up in smoke, which burst into uncontrollable flame within a twinkling of an eye.

“One of our neighbours said before the explosion, she heard the voice of the mother, Nseobong Uduak, telling her first son, Miracle, to fill the lantern with kerosene.

“All the neighbours tried to put out the fire to enable us to rescue the victims, but before we could do so, Silas and the baby have been burnt to death.

“Miracle and the mother were rushed to the UCTH but they both died.

“Some neighbours tried to call the state Fire Service but help never came.”

Another resident, who gave his name as Jeremiah Joshua, expressed surprise that cases of kerosene explosion had resurfaced in Calabar.

He called on the Federal Government to ascertain the source of kerosene supplied to the masses for domestic use.

When contacted, the Chief Medical Director of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Prof. Thomas Agan, said he had yet to be briefed on the development, but a hospital source said four persons were brought in burnt beyond redemption.

However, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Irene Ugbo, confirmed the incident.

Ugbo, an Assistant Superintendent of Police, said another kerosene explosion also claimed the life of an infant in Calabar.

“I am aware of the kerosene explosion incident involving a mother and her three children in the Eight Miles area of Calabar.

“This adulterated kerosene in Calabar is causing more havoc because I just got an information that it happened somewhere else and that a small child was killed. I hope it will not escalate,” she said.

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