From Okey Sampson, Umuahia
A man, his wife and another young man said to be the only son of his family have perished instantly in an oil fire explosion which occurred at an illegal refinery in Uzuaku community, Abia State.
Another unascertainted number of people were said to have died in a hospital later as a result of the incident.
This is coming barely two weeks after a similar explosion that killed more than 100 persons at an illegal refining site at Abaeze forest in Ohaji Egbema Local Government Area of Imo state
The incident, which was said to have thrown people in the area into confusion and anguish was said to have happened Friday night.
It was gathered that, the Shell pipeline that services the Uzuaku / Owaza axis have not had crude oil running through it for some weeks leading to the stoppage of illegal oil bunkering activities in the area.
A Source said the resumption of pumping of crude oil along the pipeline last week, triggered the activities of illegal refinery operators to go back to their business.
It was of trying to get back to their illegal business, that one of the sites went up in flames, killing the three persons instantly.
A community leader, who confirmed the incident, said while the persons that were burnt to death at the scene of the incident were buried immediately, a few others whose number could not be immediately ascertained, died later at the hospital.