On The Christmas Eve Fire In Nnewi

On December 24 2015, a gas plant caught on fire and exploded in Nnewi, Nigeria. Over 100 people are said to have been killed. The cause of the fire is unknown.

I woke up today and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. All those people, dead.

People who had been queuing all day to fill their cooking gas cylinders. People who were just doing their jobs. People who were just passing by. All dead.

This is where I live, where I studied, where I worked. It could have been me or any of my family passing through or queuing at the station. The odds are that I know someone directly or indirectly affected by this tragedy.

The victims were taken to the hospital I interned at. There were pictures taken by my colleagues, but I couldn’t bring myself to look at even one. I didn’t need to look to know that there was very little hope.

All those people had hopes and dreams. They had plans for today, for 2016. All of them, snuffed out like lit matchsticks, burning brightly and then fizzling into nothing.


May the dead find peace, and the bereaved, comfort.

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