Pipeline explosion: Families of victims lament neglect by firm

14 September 2016, Yenagoa – The families of the victims of pipeline explosion at the Agip’s oil field in Azuzuama community in Bayelsa State have accused the company of neglect.

AgipThey accused the Nigerian Agip Oil Company, operators of the oil field of being insensitive to their plights.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that a pipeline explosion in the Southern Ijaw Local Government community on July 9, 2015 left 14 people dead.

A regulatory official of Bayelsa Ministry of Environment and National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency, NOSDRA, was among the dead victims.

According to NAN, officials of NAOC, representatives of the host community and the Bayelsa Ministry of Environment were investigating the cause of an oil spill in the area when the blast occurred.

The Director-General of the NOSDRA, Dr Peter Idabor, had bemoaned the poor safety procedures at Agip’s oilfields, which resulted to the death of its staff and an official of the ministry.

“It is a painful experience to us in NOSDRA, we have informed the families of the affected staff, who hailed from Enugu state.

“We are talking with the Bayelsa State government that also lost a staff from its Ministry of Environment.

“This incident shows the kind of risks and hazards that our officers are constantly exposed to in the discharge of our mandate at oilfields amidst daunting challenges and limitations,’’  Idabor said.

Some of the family members of the victims of the blast said they were still feeling the pains of the loss.

They blamed Agip of neglecting the dependants of the victims.

Mr Clinton Italia, a relative of one of the victims told NAN on Wednesday that all that the family got was a N800, 000 burial assistance and N7.4m interim palliative.

Italia said, “Life has been difficult and painful for the families of the victims at Azuzuama.

“Apart from the burial assistance and the sum of N7.4m, nothing has been done to the oilfield to forestall future accidents.

“The dependants of the deceased feel abandoned as Agip is yet to pay the main compensation.

“We have waited for the compensation and other promises they made to no avail and we are looking at ways of taking up the case with them.”

– NAN

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