By Egufe Yafugborhi


WARRI – FIRE outbreak from an oil blowout on the Riapele-Forcas Trunkline belonging to the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) has reportedly killed a mother and three children in Odidi, Warri South West Local Government Area, Delta State.

Friday Deinghan, a community leader in Odidi who spoke to Vanguard yesterday described the magnitude of the spill and the associated fire as “unprecedented”.

The alleged victims include Mrs Ebosine Photo, 36, her children, Siyafa and Gift Photo, 16 and 6 years respectively and an unnamed toddler just under a year.

Deighan said, “The mother and the children were out fishing more than three kilometers away from the spill point, very unmindful that the crude oil has spread across the river. It was nightfall.

“She made to light a hurricane lamp they usually use to illuminate their way as they mend their nets and fishing traps. Immediately she lit it and dropped it into the water, the thing caught fire and engulfed the four of them.”

He said no Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) has been carried to ascertain the cause and extent of damage since the community noticed bubbles on the blowout spot and reported to SPDC Thursday last week.

“The community had promptly notified Shell, asking them to boom the place to arrest the oil from spreading wide, but they refused. That line is aged and that spot has undergone failure and contracted for clamping repeatedly.

“As I speak with you now, it is serious humanitarian concern in the community as the people are confused and in mourning. People can’t go for fishing and something urgent needs to be done.”

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