DPR investigates tank farm explosion in Calabar

Eme Offiong, Calabar

The Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, has commenced investigation into the recent Linc Oil tank farm inferno at the Calabar Free Zone in Cross River State, southern Nigeria.

The Director of DPR, Mr. Mordecai Ladan, who led a delegation on inspection of the partly affected tank farm, said the essence of the visit was to assess the extent of damage.

Speaking on preliminary observation, Ladan stated: From what we have seen, we suspect that the fire outbreak may have been caused by illegal activities of some workers around, who are fond of perpetrating such act.”

According to him, “the DPR will set an inquest into the whole situation. Thereafter, a much deeper investigation will be carried out to unravel the true cause of the explosion”.

The DPR boss commiserated with families of those lost their lives to the inferno, describing the incident as “very unfortunate”.

Negligence

Ladan, speaking the minds of his team mates to newsmen, asked a question: “The fire outbreak happened around 4 o’ clock in the morning; how were people able to gain access into the place at that time?”

He also suggested that the explosion may have occurred due to workers’ negligence at the depot and inadequate security to checkmate illegal activities.

The team leader disclosed that DPR was collaborating with relevant agencies to ensure that explosions or fire outbreaks of any kind never occur again in Cross River as well as in other areas where oil facilities and installations are located across Nigeria.

In the early hours of Sunday, July 16, fire broke out while a vessel was discharging Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, at Linc Oil tank farm at the Calabar Free Zone depot.

The inferno, which started at 4 o’ clock in the morning, damaged property worth millions and left 9 persons dead on the spot as they were burnt beyond recognition.

Although the death toll has risen to 11, seven persons were still receiving treatment at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital.