Explosion rocks Agip facility in Rivers

A HEAVY explosion has hit the facility of Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) at Ebeocha community in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Council of Rivers State.

The explosion, which occurred at about 10:00 p.m. on Sunday and Monday morning respectively, was said to have caused serious fire in the area.

The Guardian gathered that people have been evacuated from the community, though the fire was said to be burning within the premises of NOAC facility.

The cause of the fire could not be ascertained as at press time, but a source from the company, who pleaded anonymity, disclosed that the explosion started from one of the tanks in the facility, which then escalated the fire.

He said there was no record of casualty, adding that a combined team of fire servicemen from Agip and Total Exploration and Production Limited arrived at the scene very early to contain the fire.

The source said: “After the first explosion on Sunday night, another explosion occurred Monday morning shortly after men of the fire service had contained the initial incident.”

Chairman of the Local Council, Augustine Ahiamadu, who confirmed the incident, said the location was a highly risky zone, noting that the tanks were quite old and needed to be changed.

He said: “The explosion occurred first on Sunday and fire service men contained it. Early on Monday morning, another explosion came up again.

“From now, we cannot ascertain anything because I’m yet to be briefed officially. But I have told them that they need to do all they can to ensure that the incident is properly handled; and also to make sure that my people are secured.”

Meanwhile, the NOAC facility in the council had since the incident been beefed up with heavy securitymen.

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