Port Harcourt blast: Only two barges burnt – NEMA

Jimitota Onoyume

22 July 2012, Sweetcrude, PORT HARCOURT – TWO barges, one tug boat and a fishing boat were among items consumed in the multiple explosions on Friday in a vessel at Abuloma jetty, Port Harcourt.

Mr Emenike Umesi of the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, who spoke to Sweetcrude on the incident, said four persons died in the explosion.

Eye witnesses had put the death toll at between nine and thirty persons.
The NEMA official said two persons were injured, adding that they were responding to treatment in hospital.

He said there was smoldering fire at the time of this report.
His words, “Situation report: fire is still burning but very low, causualties: 4 dead, 2 injured. Damages: 1 fishing boat, 1 tug boat, 2 barges. Recommmendation: need for burnt vessel to be removed from the water way to avoid further accidents.”

The vessel exploded three times at the Abuloma jetty on Friday while a welding work was ongoing inside it.

It was reportedly conveying crude when the explosions occured. Initial fears expressed by eye witnesses was that no fewer than eleven person had died in the explosions.

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  • We hope that the immediate and remote causes of the blast would be identified and that the authorities will apply the lessons of the findings to forestall future mishaps.