Dozens die as explosion rocks oil facility in Rivers

Amaechi Okonkwo, Port Harcourt

Dozens of persons mostly women were reported dead following an explosion from a crude oil tapping point in Rumuekpe commumity in Emuoha Local Government Area of Rivers State.

The incident, our Correspondent learnt, happened at about 2am on Friday when one of the buses loaded with crude went up in flames while trying to navigate to an illegal refining point in the area.

An environmentalist and executive director Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre, Fyneface Dumnamene confirmed the incident saying it received news of the incident through its ‘Crude oil spill alert response system.

Also the Rivers State Police Command has confirmed the explosion saying that preliminary investigation by the Command indicated that the victims were scooping crude product when the site caught fire.

According to the Spokesperson of the command, SP Grace Iringe-Koko about 12 persons have “so far been counted to have been burnt to death. The identities of the victims are still unknown”.

“Five vehicles, four Keke NAPEPs, and one motorcycle were all burned to ashes”.

She added that the Rivers State Commissioner of Police has again admonished members of the public to stay away from illegal oil bunkering, and avail themselves of telephone hotlines provided by the to report any incident or development they believe has the potential to lead to crime or break down of law and order.

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