A 21-year old 100-level Microbiology student, Miss Eke Ukam Ogolo of the Cross River University of Technology (CRUTECH) was on Wednesday evening roasted to death.
The incident occurred while the deceased was trying to pour kerosene into a lantern at her residence in 8 Miles, on the outskirt of Calabar Metropolis.
We gathered that the lantern exploded, burning her face and other vital organs.
An eyewitness, Kelvin Ekere said that Ogolo was trying to refill a lantern with kerosene when the lantern suddenly exploded and she died on Thursday at a private hospital in Calabar.
“We heard a large sound from the room and rushed down but before we got there, the place had already been covered with smoke and we tried to help her but her face and her chest was already burnt; we were not surprised she died today (Thursday) because she was badly injured from the explosion.
“Also, another woman, a teacher, who is my neighbour, was also injured in another explosion, just few hours after Ogolo was confirmed dead; this is the sixth incident this year and we have stopped patronising black marketers, we buy directly from the filling stations now,” he said.
A family member, who simply identified himself as Mr. Felix said her sister had her matriculation two weeks ago before her untimely death.
“We feel very sad and my parents have been devastated, she has been looking for this admission since four years but could not get it; but she just gained the admission and matriculated two weeks ago but died in a mysterious circumstance, it is so sad, we are in grief,” he said.
On his part, Operations Controller of the Department of Petroleum Resources, Mr. Bassey Nkanga said the DPR would partner with IPMAN in the state to reduce adulterated product, especially kerosene to the barest minimum.
He said: “Don’t buy doubtful product from anybody apart from the licensed depot; anyone who buys adulterated product and there is an explosion in any corner, that person will be held to face the necessary sanctions and the full wrath of the law.
“DRP is well equipped in checking petrol stations across the state to ensure that the right thing is done and all loopholes for adulteration blocked and reduced to the barest minimum’’, he said.
Mr. Lawrence Agim, IPMAN Chairman in Cross River, expressed sadness over incessant kerosene explosions in the state, adding that it was unfortunate that the young undergraduate died in such a painful way.
Agim said that many families had been affected by such explosions and vowed to make sure that it never occurred again.