NNPC allays fear of scarcity as explosion rocks Apapa jetty
An early morning explosion in Apapa, Lagos, yesterday leading to an inferno, rocked a petroleum jetty belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The Guardian gathered that the inferno started around 3: 00 am, when a petroleum-laden vessel was discharging fuel at the jetty, also known as Petroleum Warf Apapa (PWA) jetty. Four persons were reportedly killed.
The NNPC confirmed the explosion but could not confirm the number of casualties.
The corporation, in a statement signed by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Ndu Ughamadu, assured motorists and other consumers of petroleum products nationwide that the fire incident will not affect supply of petroleum products.
NNPC said the fire spark was from the activities of hoodlums who were scooping spilled fuel from ships discharging fuel at the jetty.
A source said three of the affected persons were the loading masters for Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), while the fourth person is yet to be identified as at press time.
The entire manifold was engulfed in the inferno thereby halting further loading of products into the storage tanks.
“The fire, which raged for hours, has destroyed a larger portion of the jetty, but it was eventually put off with the intervention of the Nigerian Ports Authority fire service and another vessel that was at berth at that time,” the source said.
The Executive Secretary of MOMAN, Obafemi Olawore, said he is unaware of the incident.
NNPC said it has deployed a team of engineers to the jetty while the repair of the affected parts would commence immediately.
Group Managing Director, Maikanti Baru, who has been fully briefed on the incident, described the occurrence as unfortunate, assuring that NNPC has more than 1.6 billion litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise called petrol, enough to last for 48 days.
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