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Bodies still abandoned at pipeline explosion site in Rivers, says ERA, YFOEN


[FILE PHOTO] Rivers State

Three weeks after a high pressure pipeline belonging to Pipeline and Product Marketing Company (PPMC) exploded killing 45 people at Kom-kom community in Oyigbo local government area of Rivers State, environment activists, Environmental Rights Action (ERA) and Young Friends of the Earth (YFOEN) have accused the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) of abandoning the victims of the explosion in the swampy terrain.

At a briefing on the explosion by the YFOEN/ERA after visiting the explosion site, they urged NEMA to urgently evacuate the remaining bodies lying deep inside the swamp.

They said residents of the community informed them that the decomposing bodies are posing a great danger to their health as it had polluted the air which they breathe and that their water bodies have been contaminated by petroleum products as a result of the spill and fire.

The group said they visited affected families in the community including the youth chairman of Kom-Kom community, who lamented that nothing had been done since the explosion occurred. They also disclosed that Mr. Prince, a palm wine taper who lost three of his brothers in the explosion said his brothers had been buried but that they were yet to hear from both the government and parties involved. 

YFOEN and ERA represented by Amadi Mgbenihu, Ugorji Jennifer, Wisdom Echonwere and Emmanuel Abite, at the briefing, said a day before the explosion, the residents raised the alarm about a ruptured pipeline that was spilling petroleum products and so many residents of the community were scooping petroleum products, but concerned authorities did not heed the alarm.

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