Oil vessel explosion in Nigeria
Barely a week after a fuel tanker fire killed about 200 people in Port Harcourt, capital of the South South Rivers State in Nigeria, tragedy struck again Friday when a vessel carrying crude oil exploded at the Abuloma Jetty, killing no fewer than 25 persons on board, the local Guardian newspaper reported Saturday. The incident occurred at Eneka, near Port Harcourt, causing panic in the area. The paper reported that that the vessel that exploded was brought to the private jetty for routine maintenance a few days ago following a major leakage.
The propelling force of the explosion was said to have flung the welders and the captain who was not inside the cabin of the vessel into the Abuloma creek. They were later rescued and rushed to a hospital. Eyewitnesses said none of the other crew members escaped, probably because of the huge inferno that engulfed the vessel after the explosion. Officers of the Federal Road Safety Commission, the Navy, Army, Police, Fire Service and National Emergency Management Agency besieged the scene of the accident in a bid to save lives, but could not go near the vessel because of the intensity of the fire. An eyewitnesses, Mr. Frank Uchendu, said: “The petrol tankers were seized and kept in the area by the JTF for allegedly conveying substances suspected to be illegal petroleum products.’