Mr Ogbonnaya Nta, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in Abia, has confirmed the death of Mr Chinweoda Ndubuisi, a pastor with Foursquare Gospel Church in Umuahia, the Abia capital.
Nta told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Umuahia on Thursday that Ndubuisi, who was in his early 40s, died in an explosion from a faulty generator in his residence.
He said that Ndubuisi was trapped in the fire resulting from the explosion which occurred in the presence of a generator repairer while trying to fix the generator.
Nta said that the incident occurred at Plot 100, Nkwerre Street, Umuahia, on Wednesday evening.
He said that the deceased engaged the repairer to work on the generating set and that it suddenly caught fire while they were still trying to kick-start it.
According to the PPRO, fire and smoke engulfed the corner under a staircase, where the generator was securely chained to an iron
He said that while the repairer, who reportedly stood close to the exit door managed to escape, the deceased could not.
A friend of the deceased told NAN on the condition of anonymity on phone that although his neighbours rallied round to put out the fire, it was difficult to rescue the deceased.
He said that efforts made to drag the burning generator from under the staircase by the rescue team were unsuccessful because it was chained.
“By the time the fire was put out completely, the man was already dead,” Nta said, adding that his remains were later taken to a mortuary after he was confirmed dead by a medical doctor.
“He died on the spot from burns and suffocation from the generator fume,” he said.
NAN learnt that the repairer sustained minor burns on his hands and other parts of his body and was taken to an undisclosed hospital in the area.