No fewer than four people are feared dead in an inferno that rocked a petroleum jetty belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in Apapa on Monday.
The inferno started around 3.00 am when a petroleum-laden vessel was discharging fuel at the jetty, which is also known as Petroleum Wharf Apapa jetty.
The source at the scene of the inferno said three of the affected persons were loading masters for the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN), while the fourth was yet to be identified as at press time.
The entire manifold was engulfed in the inferno thereby halt further loading of products into the storage tanks.
“The fire, which raged for hours, has destroyed a larger portion of the jetty but it was eventually put off with the intervention of the Nigerian Port Authority fire service and another vessel that was at berth at that time,” the source said.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) confirmed the explosion but could not confirm the number of casualties.
The corporation, in a statement signed by its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Ndu Ughamadu, assured motorists and other consumers of petroleum products nationwide that the fire incident will not affect the supply of petroleum products.
NNPC said the fire was sparked by the activities of hoodlums who were scooping fuel spilled from ships discharging at the jetty.
“NNPC had already deployed a team of engineers to the jetty while the repair of the affected parts would commence immediately,” Ughamadu said.