No fewer than five people are reported dead while several other persons sustained varying degrees of injuries as a kerosene-laden tank exploded in Kubwa Village Market, Abuja, Friday night.
The tragedy happened at the junction leading to the L.E.A Primary School, Jaji Street, few metres away from St. Luke Catholic Church.
When the News Agency of Nigeria arrived at the scene, bodies of the victims were being evacuated by the combined team of officers of the Nigerian police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Fire Service, among others.
The inferno, which gutted the adjoining shops in the area, had been extinguished by the Fire Service men.
An eye-witness, Chima Nnamdi, told NAN that the sad event occurred at about 7:15pm, adding that so far, at least five bodies, some of which were burnt beyond recognition, had been recovered.
Noting that the kerosene might be adulterated, he said that several other people, who sustained injuries, had been taken to the Kubwa General Hospital.
Another eye-witness, who simply called herself Jennifer, said the kerosene seller and her two children also died in the fire incident.
The Kubwa Police Area Commander, ACP Mohammed Ndagi Shebe, who confirmed the incident, debunked the rumour that it was a bomb explosion.
“You can see it yourself,” he said as he flashed a torchlight to the kerosene tank which allegedly caused the explosion.
According to him, it was a kerosene surface tank that exploded. “That is what brought the inferno,” he added.
He said he could not tell if the kerosene was adulterated or not, hinting that four dead bodies had been evacuated.
However, the Police Public Relations Officer, FCT Command, DSP Josephine Adeh, said in a telephone call that she had yet to be briefed on the incident as of the time of filing this report.