Oil tanker explosion destroys containers, cars at Apapa port

Godfrey Bivbere
& Ifeyinwa Obi

24 April 2012, Sweetcrude, LAGOS — THERE was pandemonium, Monday, at the Tin-Can Island Terminal, TCIT, in Apapa, Lagos, when a 5,000-litre oil tanker, supplying fuel to the terminal’s cargo handling equipment, burst into fire and exploded.

Although the cause of the explosion could not be ascertained at press time, Sweetcrude gathered that the fire affected several containers stacked in the terminal, as well as cars parked close by.

During a visit to the terminal, a clearing agent, who spoke with Sweetcrude, said seven containers and their contents were badly damaged while a crane was also affected.

The agent said the TCIT management tried to move some containers from the site to safety.

Following the explosion, it was gathered that the TCIT management ran its operations outside the terminal before the arrival of fire fighters from the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA.

Operations Manager at TCIT, Mr. Ludovic Johan, said it was not an explosion but a fire incident that occurred while a fuel tanker was refilling its cargo handling machines.

He, however, refused to speak further on the incident, and referred Sweetcrude to the managing director of the company.

Another official of TCIT, who simply identified himself as Richard, said it was a 5,000-capacity haulage tanker.

Richard, who said no life was lost, confirmed that some containers were affected.

He noted that the consignments in the containers were not affected before fire fighters from NPA came and put out the fire.

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