By Our Reporter, Delta State
Residents were alarmed on Tuesday as fire gutted Warri Refinery and Petrochemical Company in Ekpan, near Warri, Delta State.
Eyewitness says residents and refinery workers scampered for safety as thick smoke spews into the sky from the gas plant of the refinery.
Sources said that refinery engineers were carrying out repair on the complex when the gas plant ignited. The incident happened around 11: am.
It was learnt that there was a leak in the gas component but before engineer could reach the spot to fix the problem, it went into flame.
Specifically, our source said that the 10-H-02 equipment in area 2 exploded, causing the huge panic in the Warri and its environs.
Sources said that several components of the refinery have been faulty and needed to be upgraded.
The source said that there were a lost of fatalities in the gas fire though this have not be confirmed but a source said that some refinery workers suffered burn and were rushed to nearby clinic.
It was gathered that about some few minute after workers had evacuated to safe point, siren torn through the town thus, causing huge alarm that the entire refinery complex was under fire.
Sources said that the fire was put off after few hours of battle by fire fighters deployed to quell the inferno.
It was leant that the Managing Director of WRPC, Engr. Paul Obelley who had already travelled to his home town Eleme in River State in preparation for his daughter’s marriage on Saturday had to cut short his stay as he dashed back to Warri on Tuesday afternoon when the news of the refinery fire filtered in.
“We were initially frightened by the explosion but the prompt intervention of the MD actually saved the situation. Infact, the incident was effectively managed by the management of the company”, a source said.
The refinery Public Affairs Manager, Mrs Emmanuelle Ate, however said that there was no casualties in the incident saying it was a minor fire outbreak that have been brought under control.
It could be recalled that similar incident occurred in the refinery in 2011 when the loading bay of the refinery caught fire, resulting to the death of a motor boy for one of the four tankers razed by the inferno in that incident.