Tuesday, 29 September 2015

2 welders die after inhalling fuel in A’Ibom —DPR

The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Eket,  Akwa Ibom has confirmed that two welders died over inhalation of fuel at Global Richman Venture Nigeria Ltd, filling station in the state. Mr Asuquo Antai, Controller Operations DPR, who confirmed the incident to journalists in Eket Local Government Area, saying that the incident happened by 6a.m on Saturday, Sept 19. Antai explained that the filling station brought products from Calabar Depots and while discharging the DPK, the earth cave in while trying to manage the problem, two casualties recorded. He said that they quickly towed the truck that was discharging products out to safety, yet two casualties recorded.

“They went ahead to find the solutions on their own. They pump the PMS that was discharge just a day before they pump it to another tank and the DPK was also pump out.
“There after they went out to find how to remedy. I don’t know what informed their decisions to invite welders to see how they can repair the tank.
“Where the ground had already caved in, the first welder went in as early as 6a.m and died.
“As a result of inhalation of fuel, the second person went in to see what was wrong with his colleague, also lost his live,’’ Antai said.
He said the Manager of the Filling Station, Mr Emmanuel Udoh refused to report the incident to DPR because the station was not licensed by the department.
Antai said that department had commenced investigation to look into the matter.
He noted that the filling station had been sealed severally by DPR because they don’t have size suitability approval to site the station and no authority to construct the station.
He added that the filling station do not have DPR license to operate in the state.
He frowned at marketers who build filling stations without proper Environmental Impact Assessment to know the nature of the soil where tanks are buried and also not built to specification of DPR.
“That is the problem we experience in our area of operations, where people just come and build a station because the marketers want to make quick money,’’ he lamented.
He cautioned marketers to ensure that they go through the proper channel to prevent further occurrence in the state.
“The way at which people are building filling stations without reference to the department in Akwa Ibom and Cross River is very alarming.
“And we may have similar incident in the future, if this is not check immediately,’’ Antai said.
He said that the department had carried out several enlighten programmes to cautioned marketers to regularised their operations, adding that DPR don’t enforce the law.
He called on the law enforcement agency to arrest marketers who had defaulted, adding that DPR had reported most defaulting stations to agencies responsible for law enforcement.
He said DPR was collaboration with Town Planning to ensure that the filling stations are demolished in order to protect life and property and safe the environment from pollution.
He further warned marketers on the need to go through due process for size suitability before citing filling stations on any locations.
Antai added that marketers should get approval for construction before commencing work and also inviting the DPR to see their tanks before burying it.
He expresses displeasure to marketers that build filling stations without reference to the DPR, frown, adding that some had been indentified and reported to appropriate authority to prosecution.
“This filling station pose dangers to the general public, life and property, pollute the environment and carry out shoddy deals in the name of running filling station,’’ he said.
He said that depots that sell products to unlicensed filling station would be prosecuted.
Responding, Udoh said that he bought 15 litres of AGO and N20 litres of PMS from fine field oil depot in Calabar.
He said the incident happened at Okon Eket where his filling station is located.
He said that as they were discharging AGO and PMS the truck broke and started sinking down.
He said that two tanks broke immediately and he was confused on what to do, adding that he called the victims to assist him.

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