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‘We will prosecute anyone found guilty in Calabar tank-farm explosion’


A member of staff of one of the tank farms, who pleaded anonymity, said: “Almost 13 people that we have been able to confirm have died. So, many have severe injuries and have been rushed to the hospital.

The Managing Director of Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), Mr. Emmanuel Jime has promised to prosecute anyone found guilty in the tank-farm explosion at the Calabar zone of the authority.

Jime made the declaration while addressing the staff on the NEPZA’s resolve to promote safety consciousness in the different zones.

He said: “The Calabar tank-fire was a tragedy that must not be allowed to repeat itself. It was not just a sad day for NEPZA, but equally for the people of Cross River State and Nigeria at large.

The managing director said the death toll from the explosion that occurred on July 17, 2017, was 10 when he visited the place, adding that it had risen to 13.

“Anyone would be appalled at this preventable loss of human lives, but for some of us who hold human life particularly sacred, it’s a veritable and complete nightmare,” he said

He promised that the authority would get to the root of the matter and also bring the culprits to book, adding that resolving the mystery was a duty that the living owed the dead.

He added: “Even as our prayers go to the dead, our resolve is to leave no stone unturned in unraveling the mystery surrounding the fire. This is why we had set up a high-powered and independent investigative panel, headed by the General Manager (Zones Operations).

“We must use this ugly incident to devise a comprehensive template of human safety, environmental protection, compliance and enforcement, regular environmental impact assessments and enhanced monitoring and control.

Jime had earlier condoled the families of the victims when he visited the scene to inspect the damage, as well as those receiving treatment at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH).

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Emmanuel JimeNEPZAUCTH
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