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Fire razes Conoil platform in Bayelsa

Atleast 100 oil workers were reportedly rescued from an oil platform in Koluama 1 community, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, following a fire incident on Saturday.

The inferno, which was confirmed by the authorities of the joint military task force in the Niger Delta code named Operation Delta Safe, started around 5a.m. It blew up the oil platform and razed down the residential area of oil workers.

At the time of this report, the rescued workers were said to have been flown to Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

It was gathered  that though fire fighters were flown into the community on Saturday from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, they were assisted by indigenes of Koluama 1 and other fishing communities in the area to put out the raging inferno.

A community source, who was part of the volunteers in the rescue and evacuation operation, said though the oilfield is operated by ConOil, the oil rig is owned by Depthwize Nigeria, an oil servicing firm working at the facility.

The rig is said to be located off the Atlantic shores of Koluama in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state.

Though the number of personnel onboard the ill-fated vessel named MV Majestic could not be ascertained, it was further gathered that the rig had the capacity to accommodate 120 men .

It was also learnt that the razed oil platform was a mini one built with a helipad to replace the trunk line razed in 2017 during the Auntie Julie trunk line fire incident.

“We gathered that the fire blew up the newly constructed trunk line and affected the platform when it was being tested on Saturday. Immediately it was switched on, it blew up the line, entered the platform and caught fire,” the source said.

Spokesman of the OPDS, Maj. Abdullah Ibrahim, while confirming the incident, said all personnel on board the rig were successfully evacuated.

He said that the fire was brought under control due to the efforts of fire-fighters, adding that no life was lost.

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