mardi 9 mars 2004
March 9, 2004
Hector Igbikiowubo, Evelyn Usman, Omodara Badejo Lagos
A 5000 ton petroleum tanker vessel exploded under the Kirikiri bridge in Lagos yesterday while discharging Low Pour Fuel Oil (LPFO) also known as black oil, severing the vessel.
It sent people within the area scampering for safety. Investigations revealed that the vessel was discharging LPFO at a jetty operated by Plain Nigeria Limited, with poor quality, poorly fitted hoses when the incident occurred. However, no life had been discovered lost at the time of filing this report. It was also discovered that there was no official of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) at the jetty when the incident occurred, neither was there any navy presence or government agency presence at the jetty. Curiously though, about ten minutes after the incident occurred, naval personnel arrived and sealed off the premises to keep out prying eyes.
At the office of Plain Nigeria Limited located outside the jetty, a lady disclosed that she was the only one around to take enquiries. She admitted that the jetty was used for discharging LPFO, adding that she could not confirm if the vessel which exploded was actually discharging products at the time of explosion.
On the identity of a tanker vessel seen taking off at the time of explosion, she said she was not aware there was any tanker vessel within the vicinity at the time, adding that she had not been within the premises all day. People in the area told Vanguard that the jetty is used for discharging other petroleum products besides LPFO, and they were of the consensus that anything could have caused the explosion. Following the explosion, men of the Nigerian navy also tried to dissuade people from waiting on the bridge peering down on the fire, explaining that the bridge was at risk if there was still products in the burning vessel. When contacted, the spokesperson of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Belema Osibodu said it was strange that no official of the Department operates at the jetty, adding that she would look into it. She said it was likely the vessels are checked at another point before being allowed to move on, and reiterated her plans to investigate the status of the jetty.
Posted to the web March 9, 2004
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