By Jimitota Onoyume
No fewer than five persons have drowned while fleeing from multiple explosions at a tank farm operated by Matrix company in Ifiekporo community, Warri South Local Government Area, Delta State.
It was gathered that eight persons are still in critical condition at undisclosed hospitals
It was gathered that the tank farm went up in flames Friday night causing panic in the community that is hosts to several tank farms operated by different companies.
A community source, who spoke to Vanguard said they were aware of the corpses recovered, saying: “In panic and fear, some persons certainly would have jumped into the river to save their lives and were drown. We are aware some corpses have been recovered but we don’t know their identities yet.“
A staff of Matrix, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed the recovery of some bodies, saying: “People jumped into the water. The corpses seen floating on the river have been taken to the mortuary. Their identities for now are unknown.”
Reacting to the incident, Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, in a statement by its President and General Secretary, Prince William Akporeha and Afolabi Olawale, respectively, said: “We are greatly saddened by the sad news of the explosion that rocked the gas section of Matrix Energy Tank Farm, resulting in loss of lives and property on Friday, July 8, 2022, at lfiekporo in Warri, Delta State.
“We commiserate with families of those that died from this very unfortunate accident. We pray that the Almighty God grants the families of the deceased the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss of their loved ones.
“As a trade union organisation, we have no other option at this critical time than to use this very painful incident to further call on all employers of labour, especially in the oil and gas industry to place greater premium on safety in all workplaces and ensure adequate and regular training for all personnel on health and safety.
“Prevention of industrial accidents should be of highest priority at all times. We wish the injured quick recovery and the management of Matrix Energy God’s guidance and support at this very trying time as well.” (Vanguard)