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Nigeria: Fake kerosene- Fire incident that nearly killed my daughter

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Nigeria: Fake kerosene- Fire incident that nearly killed my daughter

By Prof. Herbert Eze

On Monday evening, 8/11/010, a woman who lives in Ndiojukwu- Uruagu, Nnewi, Nigeria known as Mrs Sam (real name withheld) sold four litres of kerosene to my 13 years old daughter, Miss Nkeiru Eunice Eze. The kerosene was discovered fake as Nkeiru filled our cooking stove with it and tried to light the stove. The liquid caught fire, filled the whole kitchen with flames, inflicting serious burning injuries on the girl and could have razed our two-storey building to ashes except for people’s intervention.

Since then, Nkeiru has been bed-ridden in a hospital here in Nnewi as a result of the serious injuries she sustained from the fire incident.

I suspect that the kerosene is mixed with petrol, and this accounts for why it caught fire so quickly unlike kerosene, and it took a long time and many hands to quench the fire. When the woman who sold the kerosene to Nkeiru was asked where she bought the kerosene, she said her husband supplied it to her from Bayelsa State where he resides. This is suspicious of illegal deal and since it is not from an official source, it calls for police investigation.

Pictured: Nkeiru Eunice Eze in a hospital at Nnewi, Nigeria.

In a related incident, a boy in our compound who said he bought kerosene from the same woman got burnt as flames quickly burst out while he tried to light his lantern. He still carries the injuries sustained from the burning. This additional report has increased our suspicion that the so called kerosene is mixed with petrol or some other chemical that is as highly inflammable as petrol.

In a statement to the police, I requested the Area Commander of Police in Nnewi to see that the police investigate this matter before this fake kerosene inflicts more damage on people’s lives and property. I requested that his hasty intervention into this matter was necessary. The Area Commander (AC)) and his men went into action, but later discovered they did not have needed apparatus to handle the matter effectively and so they transferred the matter to their state headquarters in Awka.

My daughter and her mother who watch her day and night stayed two weeks in the hospital before the doctor felt she could be discharged. She now frequents the hospital from home for treatment. We are watching the healing, but it will take some time to know if her skin will heal properly or require plastic surgery (or what else?). In the later case, overseas travel will become necessary with the costs involved.

We need a lot of prayers for her full recovery. Her schooling has been interrupted since this incident. The close attention and care which she requires day and night have kept her mother from official duties. There have been countless sleepless nights as she cries and struggles with pain caused by the fire injury.

Email contact: herberteze@juno.com

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