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Corpses Burnt Beyond Recognition, Goods Worth Millions Lost As Fire Guts Mortuary And Market

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A section of the mortuary at the General Hospital, Onitsha, Anambra State was at the weekend gutted by fire.

A food market near the Federal Polytechnic, Oko in Orumba North Local Government Area of the state was also razed by fire.

All corpses at the morgue were burnt beyond recognition while items worth millions were destroyed in the market.

An eyewitness said the police, who arrived the scene shortly after the incident, quickly barricaded the area to prevent people from looting the shops.

Confirming the hospital incident, Director, State Fire Service, Engr. Martin Agbili, said the fire which occurred around 12.34pm was caused by bush burning.

“Yesterday, 22-01-2022 by 1243hours, fire gutted the Onitsha General Hospital Mortuary as a result of bush burning from a nearby hospital’s quarter. All the deposited corpses were burnt beyond recognition,” he said.

Ikenga Tochukwu, the Police spokesman, who confirmed the market fire incident, said the Commissioner of Police, Echeng Echeng had ordered for comprehensive investigation into the incident.

He said: “The Commissioner of Police, Echeng Echeng is worried by recent fire incidents in market at Oko and food vendor/furniture workshop near state secretariat junction by Ifite road which resulted to loss of valuable properties.

“Preliminary Information reveals that the fire took place in the early hours of the morning period and no life was lost.

“The Police Operatives quickly responded, cordoned off the area to avert hoodlums from taking advantage of the situation to loot, and contacted the Fire service department.

“The fire was successfully put off and the cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained.

“The CP advised members of the public to always take precautionary measures to avert such ugly incidents and avoid storing highly combustible materials in their homes, offices or business premises as these are capable of causing a raging inferno.

“He admonished citizens of negligent acts such as unbriddled dropping of cigarette butts, uncontrolled bush burning, use of fire crackers and other explosive, careless handling of receptacles for trash, poor handling of electrical appliances, and other human actions or inactions capable of causing fire outbreak.

“The CP enjoined parents and guardians to keep tabs on their children and keep inflammable substances away from the reach of children.

“Also in the event of an unavoidable fire outbreak, members of the public are advised to use fire extinguishers, and promptly call Fire Service Station/office, the police, and other disaster management outlets nearest to them for necessary assistance.”

Source: The Nation

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