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Breaking: Fire Razes Property Worth over N130 Million in Aba

A tanker bearing 33,000 liters of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) caught fire on Thursday at a filling station in Aba, Abia State, destroying property worth over N130 million.

The filling station has been identified as Chab filling station, opposite Star Paper Mill, Umuatako, Aba, according to the News Agency of Nigeria.

A worker with Chab, who pleaded anonymity, said the fire outbreak began at about 12 noon and lasted till about 2 p.m. before firefighters from the Abia State Fire Service put it off.

The firefighters came from both Aba and Umuahia stations.

Chief Fire Officer of Abia State Fire Service, Arua Nnanna, described the incident as avoidable.

He said the service had warned fuel station owners to always discharge their products when the intensity of the sun’s heat is not high.

“I got a distress call in Umuahia that there is a fuel tanker fire in Aba so I had to send two trucks from our Aba station at Constitution Crescent.

“And by the time I got the second call, it was for assistance from Aba because of the intensity of the fire.

“So I pushed the trucks in Umuahia down to Aba to ensure that everything was put under control.

“As I am talking to you now, four trucks are working there, two from Aba and two from Umuahia,” he said then.

Mr Nnanna said there was a suspicion the fire was caused by the fuel station’s failure to heed earlier warnings to stop discharging fuel at the peak of the heat of the sun.

He suggested that while the tanker was offloading PMS, the weather was hot and the station did not have the safety materials on hand.

Mr Nnanna thanked residents and other security agencies for their cooperation which aided the firefighters to put off the fire.

He also lauded the efforts of his men and described the firefight as one of the fiercest his men had taken part in recently.

Appeal to government
The Commander of Abia State Fire Service, Aba Command, Belenta Belenta said the intensity of the fire was beyond the capacity of the Aba command, hence the request for assistance from Umuahia.

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“We got the information and rushed immediately with my men. The tanker was discharging and from that discharge, it resulted in a fire outbreak. The tanker was loaded with 33,000 litres of PMS.

“We battled the fire with the assistance of our main station in Umuahia. And we quenched it possibly with the type of chemical we had.

“We are appealing to the government to come to the fire service office to see what we really need to ensure that we will continue to serve better.

“If not that we have capable men who could manage fierce fires, we couldn’t have done much because we do not have enough equipment for this type of fire,” Mr Belenta said.

NAN reports that office equipment and products at the business centres within Umungasi Post Office were destroyed by the fire.

Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State visited the scene of the fire incident to assess the situation.


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