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Kerosene explosion kills four family members in Calabar



four persons have been killed in a kerosene explosion in Ikot Ekpo community , Calabar, Cross River State.
The kerosene, suspected to have been adulterated , was being poured into a lantern when it exploded on Monday night.
A 45 -year -old man, Esuabana Thomas , and two of his children and an in- law were killed in the explosion .
The children were identified as Esua Thomas , 14 ; and Edet Thomas , 12 ; while the in -law was identified as Mathias .
The victims were said to be indigenes of Ukwa Eburutu , in the Odukpani Local Government Area of the state .
The deceased’ s landlord , Efiom Efanga , said Esuabana ’ s wife and daughter survived the incident .
Efanga explained that he did not live in the house with the tenants, adding that his attention was drawn to the tragedy around 10 pm .
He said, “ I got a call around 10 pm that there was a fire incident in my house , so I rushed down there . By the time I got there , the neighbours had succeeded in putting out the fire . But they did not know that people had been burnt inside because it seemed there were no screams .
“ It was after the fire was extinguished that we discovered three persons inside who were already dead . Another victim, who was also fatally burnt , was rushed to hospital, but he gave up the ghost on the way and his dead body was brought back . The only survivor among the children is the daughter . I met her in a church close to my compound , very frightened .
“ She told me that the mum asked the elder brother to refuel the lantern , but the boy refused and went inside . After some minutes , the mum decided to send her to refuel the lantern ; as soon as she poured the kerosene into the already lit but dim lantern , there was an explosion. She said she threw the lantern away and ran out . She said the mother was outside to urinate when the explosion occurred.”A relative of the deceased, Mr Samuel Inyang , who described the incident as mysterious , said the explosion happened around 9 .30 pm .
He said, “ It happened in the kitchen . The four persons who died were in the room, but we cannot explain why they could not run out through the door . How can kerosene explode like a bomb? It is a mystery that the door was open , but our brother , his children and in- law could not escape. ”
He alleged that the kerosene might have been adulterated , and appealed to government agencies to stop illegal bunkering , which he said encouraged dealers to mix all types of things with kerosene.
The state Police Public Relations Officer , DSP Irene Ugbo , confirmed the incident , adding that investigation was ongoing .

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