A Review of the Nigerian Energy Industry

Petrol tank farm fire at Tin Can (Update)

Godwin Oritse

09 January 2013, Sweetcrude, Lagos – A fire said to have started from a barge berthed at the MRS depot facility has resulted in an explosion which ripped through parts of the M.R.S Oil and Gas Company leading to a fire out break and damages that are yet to be quantified.

Although, the company has not come out with any official statement as at the time of filling this report, it was gathered that the fire started from a hose used for discharging of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) to the company’s storage facility.

It was further gathered one of the hoses used for the discharge was being rolled back into the barge that was berthed at the jetty of M R S when a spark occurred, caused a fire that quickly spread to the vessel which led to an explosion almost immediately.

The fire, it was learnt spread through the hose into the barge leading the loud explosion that shook the entire Tin-Can port area.

The fire outbreak however led to a commotion within the facility thereby causing the fire to spread to other parts of the faicilty including where vehicles were parked and the power generating house.

Efforts to get comments from the management of M R S was futile as newsmen were not allowed into the premises.

An official of the security department who refused to disclose his name said that there was no casualty, adding that the fire was curtailed within the M R S facility.

Sources at the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) said that the barge had finshed discharging its content and was disconnecting the hoses when the incident occurred.

It also said that the Department needs to carry out its investigation to ascertain what truly happened.

An official of the branch of the Nigerian Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) at MRS facility said that there were two non- life threatening injuries currently receiving treatment at an undisclosed hospital in Apapa.

Meanwhile the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority, Mallam Habib Abdullahi has ordered for full investigations into the blast at the MRS Jetty.

Abdullahi who gave this instruction to the Health Safety and Environment department in conjunction with Marine and Fire Service to ascertain the immediate and remote causes of the incident also called appealed to all stakeholders especially port users to go about their normal business activities as the blast has not in any way affected operations.

He disclosed that no life was lost .

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