No fewer than seven persons have been reportedly killed in an explosion from Gbetiokun, OML 40, operated by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), on behalf of the NPDC/Elcrest Joint Venture.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) stated that the blast occurred on Tuesday, during the installation of a ladder on a platform (Benin River Valve Station) for access during discharging of Gbetiokun production.
According to a statement by the NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Dr. Kennie Obateru, detailed investigation of the cause of the explosion has commenced, while the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, has been duly notified and Form 41 was being prepared for the Industry regulator as required in circumstances of this nature.
The bodies of casualties have been deposited in a morgue in Sapele, while families of the personnel involved are being contacted by their employers: Weld Affairs and Flow Impact, which are consultants to NPDC.
The release stated that all personnel onboard the platform had been fully accounted for.
NNPC Group Managing Director, Mallam Mele Kyari, in the statement commiserated with the families of the bereaved, praying that God grants them the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss of their loved ones.