By Gabriel Enogholase
BENIN—RESIDENTS of Koko, administrative headquarters of Warri North Local Government Area, Delta State, were thrown into panic on Tuesday evening, following an explosion at one of the tanks in a waste management plant in the town.
The incident which occurred about 5p.m., at the premises of Ebenco Global Link Limited, blew open the lid of one of the tanks, which flew several metres before landing on the roof of one of the buildings in the neighbourhood.
The impact shattered the roof, created a crater on the floor of the building and destroyed several household property.
Vanguard gathered that a child who was lying on a foam on the floor of the house was saved by the whiskers, as the child was carried out to be fed barely some minutes before the incident.
When journalists visited the community to assess the situation, several youths were seen gathered near the affected building discussing the accident.
Speaking to journalists on the incident, the Safety Supervisor of Ebenco Global Limited, Cosmos Ebilefu, explained that workers were about to close for the day when suddenly the incident happened.
“We were carrying out our operations, yesterday (Tuesday) evening and as we were about to close, suddenly we heard an explosion. It happened that the air tank exploded as a result of in-built air in the tank which was caused by the reversal of air in the tank which built up high pressure.
“In our investigation, we found out that the air pipe was blocked by a little object and there was no access to the air and that caused the explosion,” he said.
Ebilefu, while denying allegation that the company was involved in illegal bunkering which may have caused the explosion, explained that they were into management of crude oil waste and sludge from NNPC, Seplat and other companies as well as environmental cleaning.
He said steps would be taken to avoid future occurrence of such incident.
Attempts to speak with the affected family failed as the family head, whose name was simply given as Matthew, could not be located, while his wife quickly shut the door of their apartment to prevent journalists from taking a photograph of the damaged room.
At the Koko Police Station where the incident was said to have been reported, the Divisional Police Officer, who declined to be named referred journalists to Asaba, saying that he could not speak on the issue.