Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Residents of Woji,especially those living along Woji/ Odili road, in Port Harcourt the Rivers state capital were thrown into panic mood on Thursday afternoon as vessels laden with petroleum products were on fire emitting heavy smoke and the dreaded soot into the atmosphere.
It was gathered that the inferno started as a result of an error from a welder who who was welding an illegal oil bunkering boat forgot to take basic fire safety precautionary measures at the dock yard.
Eyewitnesses said it few minutes before the highly inflammable petroleum product and the nearby vessels to go up in flames. Unconfirmed reports said not less than five person died in the inferno and many others yet to be accounted for at the time of the report.
All attempts by the fire service to extinguish the fire has gone to naught as the fire still rampages the boat yard.The extent of damage is still unknown but so far onehouse boat and several ships have been set ablaze.
The Pramount ruler of Woji Community Eze Emeka G. Ihunwo decried the activities of illegal oil bunkers whose activities keep polluting the environment in his dormain.
He called security agents to redouble their efforts at tracking downthe culprits.
Meanwhile,the emissions from the inferno and the health implications are of serious concern to those living withn te neighbourhood of the inferno.
Mr Blessing Wikina,a former Chief Press Secretary to former Governor Chibuike
Amaechi who lives in Woji and close to the Dockyard where the incident happened has raised alarm over the health implication of the piosoneous emissions from the inferno on human beings,especially children.