Fire explosion from a gas flaring operation at the Qua Iboe Terminal (QIT) process area at ExxonMobil facility in Ibeno local government area, Akwa Ibom State has allegedly killed some staff of the company and left others wounded.
It was gathered that the incident happened on Sunday, December 13, 2020, when the victims were about to light up the gas flaring plant.
Sources who preferred to remain unnamed said one of the victims who was killed was a supervisor working at the facility’s processing area, while another supervisor injured by the explosion had been rushed to an undisclosed hospital in the state.
He said it was possible that the victims who were to turn on the plant shut for maintenance purposes, flouted all safety procedures that would have averted the explosion.
“Two supervisors went to put on the gas flaring plant that was shut down for maintenance. The victims were told to light up gas flare plant which is the excess gas from the flare.
“If the flare is off, the whole QIT is in black out because the gas flare is used to power the turbine that supplies light to ExxonMobil facility in Mkpanak in Ibeno local government area of Akwa Ibom,” he said.
A visit to the scene of the incident showed that the processing area of the QIT was cordoned off.
When the Government Relations Advisor, Public and Government Affairs of ExxonMobil, Ozemoya Okordion was contacted, he confirmed the incident.
He said though they were saddened by the development, an investigation into the incident was ongoing and all appropriate authorities have been notified of the accident.
He said, “Two employees were injured and both of them received immediate medical attention. One of the employees has passed away.
“We are saddened by this unfortunate incident and providing support to the family. The safety of our workforce and community remains our priority at all times.”