…Commends Matrix Energy, Host Communities
By Ovie Okpare
The Delta State Government on Saturday said no life was lost in the fire outbreak which gutted a section of the Matrix Tank Farm at Ifiekporo in Warri South Local Government Area of the state on Friday night.
It, however, confirmed that a total of 12 persons were reportedly injured from the unfortunate incident and were presently receiving treatment at the Ogiame Ikenwoli Hospital in Ubeji, Warri.
The government disclosed this after a delegation of the state government led by the state Commissioner for Oil and Gas, Prince Emmanuel Amgbaduba and Commissioner for Special Duties, Mr. Johnbull Edema, visited the scene of the incident.
The delegation, accompanied by the chairman of Warri South LGA, Dr. Micheal Tidi, also visited Ogiame Ikenwoli Hospital, Ubeji, where the victims were receiving treatment.
Taking turns to speak after inspecting the affected area, the Commissioner for Oil and Gas, Prince Amgbaduba, said the delegation was at Matrix Tank Farm at the instance of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.
He said 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, operator of the tank farm, and statutory regulatory bodies in the industry to investigate the cause of the incident, added that once the report was ready, it would be made public.
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“We are here at the instance of His Excellency, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa. Our first impression was that the place was like a war zone. However, we thank God that no life was lost. Preliminary report says 12 persons were injured and hospitalized but we must understand that a huge investment was affected. We advise proper investigation should be done and avoid repeat occurrence”, the Oil and gas commissioner stated.
On his part, the Commissioner for Special Duties, Mr. Johnbull Edema also called on youths and leadership of Ifiekporo to remain calm while investigation into the remote cause of the incident is revealed.
In the vein, the chairman of Warri South, Dr. Micheal 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 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.
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