Scores of persons are still missing in Nembe community, Bayelsa State, after a gas explosion from the Creek Trunk Line operated by the Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company in the community.
According to The Punch, the explosion caused tension among indigenes of the seven communities of Nembe in Nembe Local Government area of the state.
The explosion, which occurred at 4.00 am near Oil Well 7 on Friday, sacked indigenes of the affected communities and many are reported missing including children.
A source on Friday said that it had shut the Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL) for emergency repairs following the detection of oil leakage.
The Nembe communities affected include Nembe creek 1, 2 and 3 , Fatuo and Kalablomi.
An indigene of the communities, identified as Patrick, told newsmen that the gas explosion has polluted the air and water in the area, bringing fishing activities in the communities to a standstill.
When contacted on the development, the spokesman for the Nembe Chiefs Council, Chief Nengi James–Eriworio, confirmed the development and described it as “massive destruction of the area with air and water heavily polluted”.
James-Eriworio said, “People have deserted the area and the company has refused to respond despite a series of emergency calls. ”
“As of 6.00 pm, the time you are calling, the fire is still raging. The incident is uncalled for and questionable. The people are afraid. Women and children are missing. ”
He called on the oil exploration company to be mindful of the welfare of indigenes. This is a large scale explosion. We are calling on the Federal Government agencies to investigate and respond to salvage the people. The incident has caused air and water pollution.”