By Babajide Okeowo
The Management of Shebah Exploration & Production Company Ltd, SEPCOL, has announced the recovery of two more dead bodies on the ongoing investigations into the unfortunate explosion and fire that engulfed the FPSO (Floating Production Storage and Offloading) Trinity Spirit at the Ukpokiti Terminal in the early hours of Wednesday, last week.
This was contained in a statement issued by Ikemefuna Okafor, Chief Executive Officer, Shebah Exploration and Production Company Ltd.
Recall that the management had in a statement at the weekend said that the fire burnt out completely in the afternoon of Thursday last week thereby enabling closer inspection of the vessel.
It had on Sunday said that three persons had been rescued while one dead body was recovered.
But in a statement on Monday, the management said, “Working with the relevant authorities, stakeholders, and expert organisations, a Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) took place on Saturday, 5th February 2022.
“We also reported that on Sunday morning, 6th February 2022, Nigerian Maritime Administration & Safety Agency, (NIMASA) notified us of a dead body found floating in the vicinity of the FPSO. We can confirm today that two further dead bodies were discovered on the deck of the vessel in the afternoon of the same Sunday.
“We have made incident reports to the police and relevant authorities to assist the ongoing investigation, and due process to establish the identities of the dead bodies is under way.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of all the victims of this unfortunate incident, and we are on hand to provide support to them as required.
“Thus far, the potential total number of the crew members accounted for is six, including the three persons who were found alive last week.
“Our priority remains focused towards establishing the whereabouts, safety, and security of the four crew members still missing.
“Furthermore, our efforts are geared towards cleaning up the area to minimise any damage to the environment and seeking to ascertain the exact cause of the explosion.
“We thank the following organisations who have been of tremendous assistance since the unfortunate incident happened; Clean Nigeria Associates, Chevron, National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), NIMASA, and the communities, particularly the fishermen who helped with the initial rescue.
“Our Crisis Management Team will continue to monitor developments in the investigations and update all stakeholders with new information accordingly.
“We appeal to members of the public to keep away from the area and contact the company with any information that may assist our investigations.”