Twelve workers who sustained injuries at the Matrix Tank Farm’s explosion at Ifiekporo in Warri South local government area of the state are battling for their lives. The oil and gas facility were gutted by fire on Friday night following an explosion from the gas component of the tank farm.
Delta State government led by the commissioner for oil and gas, Prince Emmanuel Amgbaduba, commissioner for special duties, Mr Johnbull Edema and His Majesty, Ogiame Atuwatse III, the Olu of Warri, have sent delegation from his palace to commiserate with the management of the oil company and Ifie-Kporo community over the incident.
The explosion which sparked panic in the area, left 12 persons including workers and cooks who were on night duty with various degrees of injuries. The victims are hospitalised at the Ogiame Ikenwoli Hospital in Ubeji, Warri where they are currently receiving treatment.
Although no life was lost in the fire outbreak which gutted the facility following the explosion, there was heavy collateral damage running into millions of naira to the oil and gas facility.
The commissioners who visited the scene of the incident on Saturday, accompanied by the chairman of Warri South LGA, Dr Michael Tidi, also visited Ogiame Ikenwoli Hospital, Ubeji, where the victims were receiving treatment.
They said an inquiry will be conducted into the incident.
The delegation from the Olu of Warri’s Palace which was led by Chief Johnson Ibranadu Amatsereuleghe (JP) Alpha, the Iyatsere Of Warri Kingdom, and Chief Eugene Ikomi, the Olulaye Of Warri, confirmed that equipment and goods worth millions of Naira were damaged in the facility.
Taking turns to speak after inspecting the affected area, Amgbaduba, said the delegation was at Matrix Tank Farm at the instance of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, saying they were sent by Governor Okowa to visit the scene to ascertain the cause and level of damage recorded during the incident.
Amgbaduba, who said the cause of the fire outbreak was still being investigated, however thanked God that no life was lost during and after the incident. While stating that the state government will collaborate with the management of Matrix Energy Limited, operators of the tank farm, and statutory regulatory bodies in the industry to investigate the cause of the incident, he added that once the report was ready, it would be made public.
On his part, the commissioner for special duties, Mr Johnbull Edema called on youths and leadership of Ifiekporo to remain calm while investigation into the remote cause of the incident is revealed.
In the same vein, the chairman of Warri South, Dr Michael Tidi, commended the management of Matrix Energy Limited and the people of Ifiekporo community for their proactive efforts which helped to quickly put out the fire.
The head of the tank farm, Oghale Oyibo, while conducting the delegation round the premises, disclosed that investigation into the incident had commenced. She explained that the fire started at about 7:05pm and was successfully put out at about 10:20pm through the collaborative efforts of firefighters with support from members of the host communities.