Monday, May 19, 2014

Heavy Explosion Rocks Port Harcourt Refinery, Many Feared Killed

According to those on ground, almost 10 persons have been confirmed dead after a deadly explosion rocked the Port Harcourt Refinery Jetty in Okrika Local Government Area of Rivers State on Sunday.
“Such activities, such connection, such highly technical work, well constructed by experts, could not have been perfectly done without the connivance of the PPMC. 

“If you want to take any product and sell, I don’t have any problem with that. My quarrel is that their (PPMC) negligence is detrimental to the environment of Okrika. 
“There was an explosion today (Sunday) because of the activities of the NNPC and their cohorts. That is the truth of the matter. Who did it, I don’t know. Who was there to watch over it, I don’t know. But I went there with the press; I was refused entry into the facility. So, what was there to hide? 
“As you can see, there is no management staff of the NNPC or persons you can say are in charge of the corporation’s operations here. The gates of the NNPC remain closed to visitors. So, we have not seen anybody that we can officially complain to. 
“From what I have been told, there are casualties. Seven persons were said to have lost their lives. When in Nigeria, you hear that seven persons died, it could be seven times seven times seven.”

Chairman of Okrika LGA of Rivers State, Tamuno Williams, who spoke with Punch, confirmed the incident in his local government, adding that oil thieves were siphoning petroleum products to the creeks. He added that the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company, a subsidiary of NNPC, was negligent.

He explained that though nobody was allowed to enter the scene of the incident, oil thieves in connivance with the PPMC were allegedly responsible for the explosion.

Several persons were also seriously injured as a result of the explosion.

Oil thieves had tampered with one of the pipelines close to the refinery with the intention of stealing products.

A source explained that the action of the oil thieves had ignited a deafening noise and a huge fire around the jetty, leaving not less than seven persons dead.

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