When I Saw The Level Of Fire, I Concluded My Family Had Gone – Man Recounts How His Two Daughters Died In Kubwa Kerosene Explosion


The two daughters, Chioma and Angel of Virginus Oleru, a 49-year-old man were killed in a kerosene explosion at Kubwa village market in Abuja on Friday, November 5.

His wife, who was severely burned in the event, is currently receiving treatment at the National Hospital in Abuja.

Chioma, 14, and Angel, who was only 21 months old at the time of the occurrence, were present at the scene of the incident, where their mother, Mrs. Oleru, was selling food.

Mr. Oleru told The Guardian that no one knows what caused the fire because the neighborhood was completely blacked out at the time of the outbreak.

“It all happened in my presence. My youngest daughter (Angel) was not feeling well, so I took her to the house of one of my brothers,  who lives nearby. We stayed at my brother’s place for close to three hours. So I came back around 7:00p.m to give my sick daughter her medication as prescribed by the doctor,” he narrated.

“When I came back home, my wife and one of my daughters, Chioma (now deceased) were still outside trading. So I gave Angel to Chioma to carry, so I could get her medication inside the house.

“Immediately I went into the compound and was about to open the door, I heard a very loud noise from outside.  When I heard that noise and the level of fire I saw from there, I concluded that all my family had gone. I tried going outside, but the fire prevented me. My neighbours also came outside, but we couldn’t put out the fire. I haven’t seen that kind of fire before in my life. So, I had to follow another road to get outside.

“Thank God that firefighters responded early and they started to pour water. But I couldn’t wait.

“Immediately, I went to the scene, where I saw my baby lying lifeless, but I couldn’t find my wife and other daughter. I walked all through the dead bodies, but still couldn’t find them. I counted about 20 dead bodies.

“It was while doing that my other two kids, who were not at the scene, told me that they saw their mother rushing Chioma to the hospital.”

According to Oleru, when they visited the Kubwa General Hospital, his wife and daughter were rejected because of lack of bed. However, they were received at the National Hospital, where Chioma died in the early hours of Saturday.


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