. . Traders Discover 3 More Bodies
By Ikeugonna Eleke
The woman who was reported to have been among the victims in Wednesday’s fire incident involving a tanker with her child was said to have been childless for 16 years, until early this year, when she had the baby.
One of the victims, Chukwuka Okeke, a neighbour to the woman, who spoke to Fides, described the tragedy as unfortunate but avoidable.
‘The woman had already rushed out of the shop with her baby but she suddenly went back. She slipped in the process and fell inside the gutter which was already in flames.
He, said, ‘We were in our shops when I got the call that there was fire burning at Upper Iweka. Though we saw smoke going up from a distance, nobody could believe it would extend to this place.
‘For over three hours, we were perceiving the smell of petrol, probably mixed with gas from a distance as it flowed through the drainage until the whole thing went up in flames.
Okeke said the woman whose husband also owned a shop in the city, just had the baby early this year after 16 years of marriage.
Meanwhile, three dead bodies of traders in the market were on Thursday recovered from shops that were gutted by the fire.
Traders who constituted themselves into rescue groups discovered the dead bodies in shops at the Ochanja Market.
One of the rescuers, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he suspected two of the bodies to be girls trapped when others ran away from the fire on Wednesday.
He also added that another body of a man was recovered at another shop.
He said, ‘We also recovered the body of a young man in one shop. His body was not torched.
We suspected he must have died of suffocation. The bodies of two salesgirls were discovered in one shop.’