The victims of the explosion and fire that engulfed the FPSO Trinity Spirit at the Ukpokiti Terminal, owned by Shebah Exploration & Production Company Ltd (SEPCOL), have increased from earlier reported, just as new information reveals that there were unauthorized personnel on the vessel at the time of the incident.
This was confirmed in the new statement issued by the management of Shebah Exploration & Production Company Ltd (SEPCOL) in RECEIVERSHIP, and signed by its Chief Executive Officer, Ikemefuna Okafor.
The statement, which was seen by Nairametrics, confirmed that persons that were not scheduled to be on duty on the FPSO were on the vessel at the time of the incident.
It stated, “Recently, we have found new information that persons who were not authorised nor scheduled to be on duty on the FPSO were in fact on the vessel at the time of the incident. This is a significant development.
“Since the 3rd of February 2022 when the fire was contained, the company has been working relentlessly with relevant authorities, agencies, experts, and the communities, focused on Search & Rescue of the 10 crew members. We have also prioritised Police Investigations, and Environmental damage assessment.
“We have kept up the Search and Rescue efforts, with the collaboration of the Police, NUPRC, NIMASA, NOSDRA, Marine Police, the communities, and local fishermen. The community leaders and traditional rulers have also been of great support.
“We have been in regular contact with the three survivors and their family members and ensured that all three received appropriate medical care in hospital. They have all been discharged from hospital and the company has continuously offered support with any post-trauma care that may be required.
“So far, a total of five bodies have been found on and around the FPSO. The bodies have been handed over to the Police for due process to establish the identities of the deceased persons. A Forensic Pathologist and a Coroner have been appointed to assist with the autopsy and identification processes.”
Okafor disclosed that the company has also paid condolence visits to the next-of-kins and family members of all persons still missing, as it kept the families abreast of the developments and apprised them of the relevant next steps in the investigation processes.
“Furthermore, the company has provided interim financial support to the immediate families and dependents of all 10 persons on board. The company has visited the families in sympathy, and the Police has been notified for further investigation.
“We are eager for the autopsy and identification processes to be concluded as soon as possible so that families can have the certainty and closure that they need.
“We have focused efforts on minimising any damage that the incident might have on the environment and have been cooperating with the relevant authorities and regulatory agencies carrying out the investigations.
“Until the final reports from these investigations are released by the relevant authorities and agencies, the company is not at liberty to make any declarations as to the level of environmental impact or any conclusions as to the cause of the explosion.
“In the interest of public safety and the investigation process, we appeal to members of the public to stay away from the vessel, and not attempt to scavenge for parts and equipment from the vessel,” it added.
Recall that about 3 weeks ago, Nairametrics in a report, disclosed that the management of Shebah Exploration & Production Company Ltd (SEPCOL) in RECEIVERSHIP, in a statement, confirmed the unfortunate incident of a fire outbreak that engulfed its offshore facility, the FPSO Trinity Spirit located at the Ukpokiti Terminal.
The fire outbreak was said to have been caused by an explosion that occurred in the early hours of Wednesday, 2nd of February 2022.
Meanwhile, SEPCOL had revealed that 3 crew members from the Trinity Spirit Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel at the Ukpokiti Terminal that exploded last Wednesday have been found alive in a yet to be identified community.
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