12 persons die as explosion rocks oil tapping point in Rivers

BY Bunmi Aduloju


The Rivers police command says 12 persons have died after an explosion rocked a crude oil tapping point in Rumuekpe community in Emuoha local government area of the state.

Confirming the incident in a statement on Friday, Grace Iringe-Koko, the spokesperson for the command, said preliminary investigation indicated that the victims were scooping crude product when the site caught fire.

The tapping point is said to be on the Trans-Niger Delta Pipeline (TNP) that passed through the community.

“So far about 12 persons are believed to have bee burnt to death. The identities of the victims are still unknown,” she stated.


Iringe-Koko also said five vehicles and four tricycles were burnt to ashes at the explosion site.

Fyneface Dumnamene, environmentalist and executive director Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre, also confirmed the incident in a statement seen by TheCable on Friday.

He said the explosion occurred at around 2am on Friday, when one of the buses carrying crude oil to another location for artisanal refining kickstarted its ignition system.


Dumnamene said the report of the incident was obtained through the centre’s crude oil spill alert system (COSAS) and members of its “one million youth volunteers network of human rights defenders and promoters in the Niger Delta” in the community.

The environmentalist added that the incident has left dozens, including women, dead and burnt beyond recognition.

He also said many vehicles and tricycles were burnt to ashes.

“All those who were at the exact tapping point in the “pit” got killed while some of those who had loaded the crude and waiting to load including women have been killed by the explosion,” Dumnamene said.


“Advocacy centre can confirm from the eyewitness information and other sources that confirmed the incident at the community that men of the Nigeria arm area (sic) already at the scene of the incident with the police said to be on the way to the scene making it difficult for photographs and videos to be taken.”

Below are amateur photos from the scene of explosion.



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