By Angela Nkwo-Akpolu
Save for the quick intervention of sympathisers, the corpse of Mrs. Onyemata, mother of a Catholic priest of the Okigwe Catholic Diocese, Rev. Fr. Alex Onyemata, would have been razed by fire over the weekend.
This happened in Umulogho community in Obowo local government area, Imo State, when the ambulance conveying the corpse suddenly burst into flames.
A source, who identified himself as Prince, said upon proclamation that Mrs Onyemata had given up the ghost at her Dikenta Avutu Obowo village, the Ambulance provider was contacted to carry the corpse to the morgue, while preparation for her interment progressed.
However, during the conveyance to Mercy Mortuary, Umulogho Obowo, the Sienna vehicle started leaking fuel, and within minutes, burst into flames, along the Owerri-Umuahia Expressway.
It took the quick intervention of the deceased family members to evacuate the corpse before the vehicle burst into uncontrollable flames, which razed it down.
Prince said the driver of the ambulance had used fire extinguishers, sand and green leaves, and water mixed with detergent which failed to quel the fire.
“As the driver struggled to stop the fire, the the fiercer it became, and in a split second, the bereaved family forced open the ambulance boot and brought down the corpse in a stretcher before the vehicle exploded into real flames and burnt to ashes”, Prince said.
According to him, the mourners had to complete the journey by foot while the corpse was conveyed in a stretcher.