Oil & Gas
Crude Oil explosion kills dozen in Rumuekpe, Rivers State
*Police confirm not less than 12 persons dead
Eric Olusesan/Port Harcourt
Reports have it that there was crude oil explosion in suspected illegal sites in Rumuekpe community in Emohua Local Goverent Area of Rivers State.
The incident happened when the oil thieves broke into the Trans Niger Delta Pipeline, TNP, which passed through the community at about 2am today Friday, March 3, 2023.
According to a press statement signed by Fyneface Dumnamene Fyneface, Environmental Rights Activist and Executive Director of Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC-Nigeria) through its Crude Oil Spill Alert System (COSAS) and members of its “One Million Youth Volunteers Network of Human Rights Defenders and Promoters in the Niger Delta” said the explosion happened in Rumuekpe Community in Emohua Local Government at an illegal crude oil tapping point leaving unconfirmed number people dead.
Fyneface said:”The Explosion happened at about 2 am today, Friday, March 3, 2023 when one of the buses that was loaded with crude oil drive to another area where the refining will take place in an artisanal refineries starts his vehicle leading to the explosion.
He further said that “The explosion and fire which has left dozens, including women dead and burnt beyond recognition with many other vehicles and tricycles burnt to ashes at the tapping point said to be on the Trans Niger Delta Pipeline (TNP) that passed through the community.
The Executive Director of YEAC-Nigeria who has been campaigning against crude oil theft, environmental pollution and leading the advocacy for the provision of alternative livelihood opportunities for artisanal refiners in the Niger Delta for the past 12years through the promotion of Modular Refineries promised by the Federal Government, proposed the establishment of “Presidential Artisanal Crude Oil Refining Development Initiative (PACORDI)” as was as the establishment of “Network Against Organized Crime in Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea (NAOCINAG” was called and informed of this latest development and death of many pipeline vandals.
The report further said all those who were at the exact tapping point in the “pit” got killed while some of those who had loaded the crude and waiting to load including women have been killed by the explosion.
Advocacy Centre can conformed from the eyewitness information and other sources that confirmed the incident at the community that men of the Nigeria Arm area already at the scene of the incident with the Police said to be on the way to the scene making it difficult for photographs and videos to be taken.
YEAC-Nigeria promises to update the public with photographs with this incident and more informing as they are received from the scene in the community.
Our Correspondent reports that explosions had been regular occurrence in communities in Emohua Local Government area due to illegal oil bunkering activities.Concerted attempts had been made to fight the menace with millions of naira pledge by Governor Nyesom Wike to any local government chairman found to be leading in the fight against the environmental menace.
The Army, Police, Fire service and other security personnel have been mobilized to the scene of the raging inferno.
The State Police Command SP Grace Iringe-Koko, the Spokesperson of the Command confirmed that so far 12 persons have been confirmed dead in the explosion.
Meanwhile, the Dr. Chidi Lloyd, the Chairman of Emohua Local Government area had not reacted at the time of filing this report.
View all comments