Imo govt conducts mass burial for victims of Egbema illegal refinery explosion

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Charred remains of the victims of the explosion which occurred at an illegal refinery site in Abaezi community last Friday in Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State, have been buried.

The Interim Management Chairman of Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of Imo state, Marcel Amadioha, said only 50 bodies were buried because they were burnt beyond recognition out of the over 110 victims of last Friday explosion at an illegal oil refinery in Abaezi community.

He disclosed this at the site of the mass burial in Abaezi forest on Tuesday.

The mass burial was conducted with security agents and officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) supervising, according to axreport by Ikenga Online.

Also involved were locals who helped in the digging of the three graves where the victims were interred.

Speaking to newsmen, the Ohaji/Egbema LGA Chairman said: “We have the instruction of the governor of Imo state, Senator Hope Uzodimma, to conduct a mass burial for the victims of the explosion. This is the least we can do for them because they were burnt beyond recognition. You can see there are no relatives of the victims who are here. This is because the victims were unidentifiable. This is the least we could do to avoid their bodies from decaying further. So, the 50 bodies were burnt beyond recognition nobody identified them.

“I believe this will serve as a deterrent to others. We are clamping down on all illegal refineries in this area. We can’t allow this economic sabotage to continue. We deserve better than this. The governor has shown enough compassion by providing us with enough logistics to carry out this mass burial.”

One of the youth leaders, Ben Marcus, who spoke on the incident, said: “Some of the victims were identified by their relatives and they were allowed to carry them for burial. Most of the victims came from far and near, adding that the incident would serve as a lesson to those engaging in such illegal business.

“The government should employ the teeming youths of the community to dissuade them from getting involved in such illegal and risky business,” he urged.

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