John Ofikhenua, Abuja
SEVEN persons have been killed in an explosion which occurred at Gbetiokun, OML 40 valve station on the Benin River, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said.
The Gbetiokun valve station is operated by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), an arm of the NNPC, in a joint venture with Elcrest.
The incident occurred on Tuesday during the installation of a ladder on a platform, a release by NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Dr. Kennie Obateru, said.
The statement said an investigation of the explosion has started, while the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has been notified and Form 41 being prepared for the industry regulator as required.
The bodies of dead have been deposited in a morgue in Sapele, while families of the personnel involved were being contacted by their employers: Weld Affairs and Flow Impact, which are consultants to NPDC.
The release stated that all personnel on board the platform had been fully accounted for.
NNPC Group Managing Director, Mallam Mele Kyari, in the statement commiserated with the families of the bereaved, praying that God grants them the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.