By Emmanuel Addeh
Seven persons have been reported dead at at an explosion at the Gbetiokun, OML 40, operated by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), on behalf of the NPDC/Elcrest Joint Venture.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), parent company of the NPDC, which confirmed the fatal incident which occurred on Tuesday, stated that every other persons affected by the incident had been accounted for.
The corporation disclosed that the accident happened during the installation of a ladder on a platform (Benin River Valve Station) for access during discharging of Gbetiokun production.
A statement by the NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Dr. Kennie Obateru, added that, unfortunately the incident caused seven fatalities.
The release stated that detailed investigation of the cause of the explosion had commenced.
It stressed that the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) had been duly notified and Form 41 was being prepared for the industry regulator as required in circumstances of that nature.
“The bodies of casualties have been deposited in a morgue in Sapele, while families of the personnel involved are being contacted by their employers: Weld Affairs and Flow Impact, which are consultants to NPDC,” the NNPC said.
The release stated that all personnel on board the platform had been fully accounted for, stating that the Group Managing Director, Mr Mele Kyari, commiserated with the families of the bereaved.
It said Kyari prayed that God grants the bereaved the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss of their loved ones.