By GODWIN ORITSE
THE Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA may have concluded plans to sanction the owners of vessel ‘M.T. Britaina U, which exploded and killed two persons recently at the Marina in Lagos.
The explosion caused damage to vehicles parked opposite a bank at the Marina Jetty.
Security sources at the authority disclosed that besides the sanctions that will be meted out to the owners of the vessel, management is currently awaiting the security report of the explosion.
It was gathered that the owners of the vessel face sanctions because she was being dry-docked in an unauthorized area; the area where the ship was berthed is a roadstead for vessels.
It furthered gathered that the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, immediately deployed its officials for a rescue mission at the site of the incident.
Efforts to get reaction from the NPA was futile as the authority’s spokesman, Chief Michael Ajayi, said that he was not aware of the fact NPA was awaiting any security report or intends to sanction the owners of the vessel.
He also said that the NPA’s management was yet to issue any official statement because the incident is still being investigated.
… Brittania-U attributes explosion to gas leakages
The Managing Director of the company, Mr. Thomas G. Meredith, clarifying the circumstances surrounding the explosions, said it was caused by gas leakages.
In a statement from the chief executive, made available to Sweetcrude, he said, “The explosion which occurred was as a result of gas leakage from the cylinders used for welding jobs on the facility by our contractors. However, the explosion was not a bomb, as being alleged in some quarters.”
At the time of the incident, he said the production facility (Brittania-U 1) Floating Production Storage Unit, FPSU, was undergoing maintenance/re-engineering of the mooring systems to withstand the challenges of the current climate change.
He also insisted that “The management observed all normal safety checks and processes before commencing any operations, as was the case before the commencement of the welding job.
“Our preliminary investigation revealed that the leakage from one of the gas welding cylinders, which while being opened by the contractors’ employee, ignited a spark, which caused the explosion. This resulted in one fatality of one contractor employee.”
Expressing deep regrets over the incidence Meredith promised that his company “will continue to strive to ensure we maintain high safety standards, as we had done in the past to avoid a reoccurrence in future,” and also expressed sincere appreciation to the Lagos State Fire Service, for their prompt response by being the first agency to arrive at the location within 15 minutes of the incidence.
Brittania-U Nigeria Limited, one of Nigeria’s indigenous marginal field producers, wish to announce the minor explosion that occurred on our production facility yesterday (Monday November 21) at about 4pm at Marina Jetty, Lagos. Appreciation also went to the State Security Services, SSS Lagos Zone, NIMASA, NPA and Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR officials who were on hand to offer their assistance.