About 20 persons are feared dead and several others fatally injured, following the thunderous explosion of an industrial gas plant, located at residential area of Umuakuru, Ogbosisi Umuguma of Owerri West LGA, New Owerri, on February 14, 2019.

According to an eye witness account, who escaped from death by whiskers, the explosion which affected some personal buildings, sent panic in the neigbourhood, who ran for their dear lives while many sustained serious injuries.

Narrating her ordeal to our reporter, one of the victims, who simply identified herself as Mrs Patricia said that, on hearing the sound of the explosion,”I tried to run for safety through the gate, but forced back by the pressure and odour of the gas, hence,I attempted to escape through the high wall at the back of the building, from where I fell and sustain multiple injuries. Others who inhaled the dangerous gas or sustained injuries, are said to be receiving treatment in different undisclosed hospitals.

One Mr Obinna, whose apartment was affected by the explosion, had in his house an elder statesman now hospitalized, told our correspondent that, he has never heard such thunderous explosion in his life like a bomb, during the civil war.

When our reporter visited the scene of the disaster, one of the staff of the gas plant named “Ebezina Gas Plant”, who also narrowly escaped death revealed that, previous government didnt give clearance or license to site the company there, until the arrival of the present government that gave approval to the company to be sited there.

Residents and victims of the explosion gas plant said that, they were injured more, adding to their injuries by the boastful utterances of the proprietor, who was alleged to have boasted that, no power in the state could stop him from operating in the area. He cautioned the victims and other residents that, if they want to know, they should go to Aba to find out who he is.

It would be recalled that a similar explosion claimed two lives and demolished several commercial buildings, along Okigwe road in Orji, last year.

The latest case of gas explosion is said to have been reported to the police at Umuguma.

Efforts to reach the proprietor of the offensive gas plant proved abortive, as it were alleged that he travelled to Aba.