Panic as fresh fire outbreak hit Bayelsa oil community

Samuel Oyadongha

24 November 2011, Sweetcrude, Yenagoa – Ikarama community in the Okordia clan in Yenagoa local government area of Bayelsa State was Wednesday evening thrown into panic when an oil spill triggered an explosion and fire outbreak.

Though no life was lost in the inferno reportedly triggered by old spill from the Okordia-Rumuekpe trunkline belonging to the Anglo-Dutch oil giant, Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, the blaze caused pandemonium in the predominantly fishing and farming settlement.

It was gathered that the fire outbreak occurred around a swamp zone impacted by an earlier oil spill from a delivery trunk line at about 5.30pm when the natives were returning from their farmland and fishing expedition.

According to a source from the community, the inferno could have been disastrous if the oil major had not shut in the delivery line in the wake of the November 8 oil spill.

Though the ruptured line had since been repaired the source added that the fire was caused by the crude oil trapped in the swamp which was not recovered.

Confirming the incident, SPDC Spokesman, Mr. Precious Okolobo said though the fire had burnt out, the company had commenced investigation into the matter.

“We are investigating reports of a fire on Okordia-Rumuekpe trunkline at Ikarama. The line had earlier been shut down following a leak caused by illegal third party interference on November 8, 2011.”

The affected line, he said had been repaired and that there was no crude on the line.

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