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 100 roasted in Rivers illegal refinery explosion.

100 roasted in Rivers illegal refinery explosion.


Over 100 persons have been burnt beyond recognition at a major illegal oil refinery site located in Omoku, Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni Local Government Area, Rivers State.

The incident, which left many charred remains of victims littering the ground, reportedly happened in Abacheka, a community that shares boundaries with Imo State.

Sources said the fire from the explosion spread rapidly and consumed everything and everybody at the site at a time many buyers of the illegal products arrived with their vehicles.

It was gathered the incident, which happened midnight Friday, followed failed efforts by a leader of an anti-bunkering task force in the area to shut down the site.

A security source, who spoke in confidence, said the site was like a market when the big bang and inferno occurred suddenly.

The source said: “It was one of the biggest illegal refinery sites in Rivers. It is located in a boundary between Rivers and Imo states. The place attracted many buyers of illegally refined products.

“They were already there with the vehicles waiting to load the products when an explosion occurred and fire rapidly spread and killed all of them.

“Many burnt bodies littered the ground and some who attempted to climb trees for protection were burnt with their bodies hanging on tree branches. It was a major disaster”.

A Non-Government Organisation (NGO), Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC) confirmed that over 100 persons died at the site.

The Executive Director of YEAC, Fyneface Dumnamene Fyneface, said many vehicles that were waiting to buy the illegal products were also burnt.

He said: “Photographs and short videos sent to Advocacy Centre showed several dead bodies, most of them burnt beyond recognition on the ground with those of others who may have been attempting to run from the fire and explosion hanging on some trees branches”.

He said: “The advocacy centre calls on youths in the state to stop artisanal refineries and work with YEAC, which is also the National Facilitator of Project with Artisanal Crude Oil Refiners (PACOR) for Modular Refineries in the Niger Delta to demand for the immediate establishment of Modular Refineries and the establishment of Presidential Artisanal Crude Oil Refining Development Initiative (PACORDI) among others as alternative livelihood opportunities for the youths.

“We also call on the Rivers State government to reactivate the Committee on alternative livelihood opportunities for artisanal refiners headed by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Banigo.

“It is worthy of note that with this and related massive loss of lives as a result of fire incidents and explosions from artisanal refining sites and products still happening in Rivers State that the Government’s war against artisanal refining in the state declared by the Governor on January 1, 2022 has failed to achieve its intended results.

“Besides, security operatives in Rivers State and the Niger Delta should go beyond policing to advising the Government on ways of using the carrot and stick approach to address the problem of artisanal refining to save our environment, lives and revenue to government for socio-economic development of the Niger Delta and Nigeria at large”.

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