By Egufe Yafugborhi – Port Harcourt
Three victims of the fire outbreak at Adros Gas Company in Rumuodomaya, Obio-Akpor Local Government Area, Rivers State have been reported dead.
Staff at the gas plant revealed on anonymity that the three company staff who were being treated at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) for severe burns sustained in the gas explosion were confirmed dead Saturday.
The company staff disclosed, “Three of them didn’t survive the burns. They died at UPTH”, just as he confirmed that the plant has been sealed by industry regulators.
He said officials of Rivers State Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources and those from the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, are investigating the cause of the explosion and ascertaining if operators of the plant were safety compliant before the fire incident.
Meanwhile, Chairman, Obio/Akpor LG, Solomon Abel Eke, over interaction with representatives of Petrol Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, PETROAN, admitted that the Council’s fire service was unable to respond to the incident because the firemen were absent on duty.
Eke regretted that Obio-Akpor International Market Fire Station with about 2,000 gallons of water installed capacity could not respond to the fire incident because as no staff was on duty that night.
He further regretted contacting sister fire services of the Shell Petroleum Development Company and the state owned facility to no avail.
He said disciplinary measures and investigation were ongoing against the firefighters for alleged sabotage of the good efforts of his council, but not without also admitting that the fire stations have been unable to function maximally due to poor funding.