People in the villages of Mgboko, Amabokwu, Obie in Aku, Igbo Etiti Council in Enugu State mourned when fake kerosene exploded in homes, killing two people and injuring four others, leaving them in critical condition.
The incident occurred on a Friday night and Saturday morning.
According to various reports, kerosene sellers in the area faked the product using gasoline, causing explosions in homes where the product was used.
It was found that one of the victims, a director, Mr. John Nnadi of Obie Aku, and his mother, Ms. Strange Nnadi, had lost their lives.
The other victim, with varying degrees of injury, was identified as Ms. Josephine Ugueke, Ms. Blessing Ugueke, Ms. Nkechi Aka and Ms. Chininenva and was taken to the hospital.
A two-year-old child was also said to be seriously injured.
The President General of Aku Prof Godwin Mba, who confirmed the incident, said the relevant authorities had been contacted to ensure that those selling counterfeit kerosene in the community were arrested in response to legal outrage.
He said: “I have informed all the necessary bodies that are concerned about arresting the culprits, confiscating the remaining unsold kerosene in every depot identified as the source of the adulterated kerosene and visit the affected families.”
Similarly, the National Public Relations Officer of Aku Welfare Association Federated, Ikenna Amadi, condemned the incident which he described as “callous and dastardly.”
In a statement on Saturday, the association called on all members of the community to stop using kerosene pending further notice.
The declaration in part states:
“All filling stations and sellers of kerosene operating in Aku and its environs should stop the sale of kerosene until further notice. All persons and families resident in Aku should identify and possibly evacuate all liquid in the nature of kerosene within their reach or homes to nearby bushes, forests or any other safe place. AWAF will take steps to dig into the root of the matter and ensure that the culprits face the music.”
Meanwhile, the Enugu state government condemned the sale of counterfeit kerosene in the state community and ordered the Department of Petroleum Resources and other relevant agencies to investigate and find those involved in the dangerous product.
State Commissioner for information Chidi Aroh advised Commissioner of Health Dr. Ikechukwu Obi and Ministry’s Permanent Secretary Dr. Ifeanyi Agujiobi to ensure that the injured are treated free of charge.
It read in part: “Enugu State Government is deeply saddened by the reports of fatalities and grievous bodily injuries resulting from the sale of adulterated petroleum products in Nsukka and Igbo-Etiti local government areas of the state.
“The chairmen of the affected local government areas have equally been directed to carry out a detailed appraisal of the situation as it concerns their respective council areas and report back to the state government for further action.”