—Says investigations still ongoing

By Johnbosco Agbakwuru

THE Management of Shebah Exploration & Production Company Ltd (SEPCOL) has announced the rescue of three out of the 10 crew members on board it’s offshore facility, FPSO Trinity Spirit, when it was engulfed in fire in the early hours of last week Wednesday following an explosion.

The management also said that a dead body was recovered from the vicinity, although the identity is yet to be established.

SEPCOL gave the update in a statement signed by its Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Ikemefuna Okafor, and made available to newsmen on Sunday.

The statement read: “The Management of Shebah Exploration & Production Company Ltd (SEPCOL) in RECIEVERSHIP, hereby provide further update on the missing crew members following the unfortunate explosion and subsequent fire that engulfed the FPSO Trinity Spirit at the Ukpokiti Terminal in the early hours of Wednesday, 2nd of February 2022.

“We can confirm that three (3) crew members have been found alive in the community and our priority is to ensure that they receive the appropriate medical attention they need. Furthermore, in the early hours of Sunday 6th February 2022, one dead body was discovered in the vicinity of the FPSO. The identity of the dead body is yet to be ascertained.

“As earlier confirmed, the fire burnt out completely as of Thursday afternoon, 3rd Feb. 2022, thus enabling closer inspection of the vessel.

“A Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) with the relevant authorities, stakeholders, and expert organisations took place on Saturday, 5th February 2022.

“The focus of our joint efforts is to prioritise investigations towards establishing the whereabouts, safety, and security of the 7 (seven) crew members still missing, clean up and limit damage to the environment, and establish the cause of the explosion.

“We appreciate the assistance provided by the Clean Nigeria Associates, the Chevron team, National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), National Maritime Administration and Security Agency (NIMASA) and people in the community, particularly the fishermen, who have been of immense assistance since the incident occurred.”

SEPCOL, however, called on embers of the public to continue to keep away from the area while the company’s Crisis Management Team monitored developments in the investigations and update all stakeholders with new information, accordingly.

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