Scores missing as gas explosion causes panic in Bayelsa community
Scores of persons were still missing in Nembe community of Bayelsa State as a gas explosion from the Creek Trunk Line operated by Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company provoked panic in the community.
The accident caused palpable tension among indigenes of seven communities of Nembe in Nembe Council, including Nembe Creek 1, 2 and 3, Fatuo and Kalablomi. The explosion, which occurred about 4am yesterday, near Oil Well 7, sacked indigenes of the affected communities and many were reported missing, including women and children.
A source said the explosion had shut the Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL) for emergency repairs, following the detection of oil leakage. An indigene of one of the affected communities, simply identified as Patrick, told journalists that the gas explosion has polluted the air and water in the area, causing stoppage of fishing livelihood of the communities.
When contacted on the development, the spokesman of the Nembe Chiefs Council, Chief Nengi James-Eriworio, confirmed the development, describing it as “massive destruction of the area with air and water heavily polluted.
“People have deserted the area and the company has refused to respond, despite series of emergency calls.“As at 6pm, the fire was still raging. The incident is uncalled for and questionable. The people are afraid. Women and children are missing.”He called on the oil exploration company to be mindful of the welfare of indigenes, noting: “This is a large scale explosion. We are calling on the federal government agencies to investigate and respond to salvage the people.”
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