A Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) pipeline exploded in the Olugboboro community in the Southern Ijaw Local Government Area (LGA) in Bayelsa State on Sunday, leaving three people dead and seven injured.
The explosion occurred on Easter Sunday while technical workers from Maco Marine, an oil contracting firm, were working to clamp a ruptured section of the Agip pipeline.
The corpses of the three victims were recovered on Monday after the fire subsided. Among the victims was an underwater welder identified as Nelson Negibo. The other two victims were indigenes of Ada-ma in Twon-Brass in Brass LGA, Bayelsa State.
Confirming the incident, the State Coordinator of Environmental Right Action (ERA), Morris Alagoa, described the incident as shocking and tragic.
"The news of another tragic incident in the oil industry which claimed three lives and injured several persons came to ERA with great shock. While industrial accidents are part of the realities of our existence, some are preventable. ERA will not stop calling on the authorities and regulators of the oil industry to make safety the mantra of the industry, not just profit. We are calling for a well-constituted panel of inquiry composed of professionals and stakeholders, including civil society organizations, to investigate this incident, make recommendations, and report all findings to the public,” Mr. Alagoa said.
Noting that the explosion came less than a year after a similar incident in Azuzuama claimed twelve lives, Mr. Algoa said, "As usual, ERA will visit the site of the incident and obtain first-hand testimonies before coming out with our formal report and related advocacy statements.”