Truck kills two in Imo community as bush fire causes deadly smoke

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By Gladys Nweke

Irate youths from Assa Community in Ohaji Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State went on rampage last week Tuesday destroying several car and other valuables following the crushing to death of two villagers by a truck said to work by a community contractor supplying sand to one of the companies working for Assa North Ohaji (ANOH) Gas Joint Project.

The deceased were named as Johnmark Rufus and Friday Amadi, said to be community workers of Lee Engineering Company contracted to construct the gigantic gas project. Eye-witnesses said the two were riding on motorcycle going back to site at about 11.30am only to be crushed to death by the truck at a place called Amnesty Junction, Asaa Community.

Sources said the accident was caused as a result of thick smokes from a bush fire around the scene of the accident, which prevented the driver of the truck and the motorcyclist from seeing each other at the sharp bend and thus rammed into each other, leaving the two occupants of the bike dead on the spot.

The youths were said to have angrily set three trucks belonging to the company ablaze, and smashed other cars and office equipment within the company.

Some others were said to have looted the company’s property and office equipment. Assa North-Ohaji South Gas Processing is owned and managed by Seplat and the Nigerian Gas Co, a unit of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp to develop, build, operate and maintain the gas plant in Imo State.

The eye witness, who is a vigilante operative in the area, added that the incident caused tension in the area as the company alerted soldiers who tried in vain to repel the invaders. Sources said there were injuries during the incident.

Police in the area confirmed the incident saying a senior police officer in the area helped injured persons to the hospital.

The crisis may have forced the company to shut down while an unofficial curfew was imposed in the community.

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