The ambulance conveying the corpse of the mother of Alex Onyemata, a Catholic Priest, was on Sunday gutted by fire.
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The vehicle, a Toyota Sienna, is said to have been carrying the corpse of late woman to the Mercy Mortuary, Umulogho in the Obowo Local Government Area of Imo State before the incident happened.
Punch Metro reports that the woman, before her death, had warned she does not want to be taken to a mortuary after death. Eyewitnesses say the fire incident may have been due to the children’s disobedience of their mother’s wish.
However, another account says the fire is due to a leak in the fuel tank of the vehicle.
A source said, “The ambulance left the deceased woman’s compound at Dikenta Avutu Obowo with the corpse around 4pm and was engulfed in flames while on motion on the Owerri-Umuahia Expressway.
“The corpse was rescued by the deceased’s family members, who were accompanying it to the mortuary before the fire engulfed the vehicle.
“The ambulance was on motion when the fire started from the fuel tank. On noticing it, the driver immediately parked and a crowd came to assist him with fire extinguishers, buckets of water mixed with detergent, buckets of sand and green leaves, but all to no avail.
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“As the fire became more intense, the bereaved family forced open the ambulance’s boot and brought down the corpse on a stretcher before the vehicle exploded and was burnt to ashes.”
Orlando Ikeokwu, the police spokesperson in the state, said no official complaint was made. He however said policemen removed the burnt vehicle from the road.