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FLARE STACK FIRE AT EXXONMOBIL FACILITY CLAIMS ONE LIFE IN AKWA IBOM

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Flare stack fire at Qua Iboe Terminal (QIT) an ExxonMobil facility in Akwa Ibom State has claimed the life of an employee, injured one in the multinational oil company.

An official of the company, who spoke to iReporters on the condition of anonymity said that the flare stack fire incident at QIT process area occurred on Sunday, Dec 13th.

He said that the victims, were both supervisors working in ExxonMobil process area and however, would not disclose their names and where they hail from.

Narrating further, he stated that the first victim died instantly at ExxonMobil facility during the incident, while the second victim was injured by the fire explosion and was rushed to an undisclosed hospital in the state.

iReporters correspondent who visited the scene of the accident, said the processing area of the QIT was condoned off while sympathizers were seen discussing the incident.

He said that victims were about to start-up the flare stack after being shut down for maintenance purpose.

The official alleged that from all indications, the victims flouted all safety procedures that would had averted the explosion.

“Two supervisors went to startup the Flare Stack that was shut down for maintenance, the victims were told to startup the gas flare plant which is the excess gas from the flare.

According to the official, If the flare Stack is off, the whole QIT facility will experience a blackout, 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.

Reacting to the development, Mr Ozemoya Okordion, the Government Relations Advisor, Public and Government Affairs of ExxonMobil confirmed the story to newsmen in Ibeno Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom on Tuesday.

Okordion said, “Mobil Producing Nigeria, operator of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation NNPC/MPN Joint Venture, confirms the occurrence of a fire incident at the Qua Iboe Terminal on December 13, 2020.

“Two employees were injured and both of them received immediate medical attention. One of the employees has passed away,” Okordion said.

He expressed sadness to the unfortunate accidents and promised that the management would provide support to the family.

“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,” he said.

Okordion noted that investigation into the incident was ongoing and all appropriate authorities had been notified.

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