Up to 100 people, mostly youth are believed to have been burnt to death, while others sustained varying degrees of burns at an ilegal oil bunkering site at Abaezu forest in Ohaji Egbema local government area of Imo state Friday night.
An eyewitness who spoke to Blueprint said the fire incident occurred around 11pm, and that smoke from the fire enveloped the atmosphere which made villagers uncomfortable and forced them to wake up.
He said people were scared to go there to find out what happened initially, but that when they summoned courage later, they discovered that up to 100 people had lost their lives, and many more sustained serious burns and were later rushed into the village for immediate treatment.
Reacting to the incident, Imo state Commissioner for Petroleum Resources, Rt.Hon. Goodluck Nanah Opiah, said the fire incident took lives of many youth at the site.
He added that the owner of the ilegal refinery was nowhere to be found, and had been declared wanted by the government.