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Three crew members found alive in FPSO oil facility explosion, says SEPCOL

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THREE crew members who were onboard the Trinity Spirit Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel gutted by fire at the Ukpokiti Terminal last week have been found alive.

The company said 10 crew members were onboard the facility when the incident occurred.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SEPCOL Ikemefuna Okafor, in a statement, said the surviving members of the crew would receive appropriate medical attention.

“We can confirm that three crew members have been found alive in the community and our priority is to ensure that they receive the appropriate medical attention they need,” the statement read.

He also said a yet-to-be-identified body was discovered close to the offshore facility in the early hours of Sunday, while seven others remained missing.

“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,” he said.

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SEPCOL which owns the vessel, has been in financial trouble and is currently in receivership, according to a BBC report.

“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 crew members still missing, clean up and limit damage to the environment, and establish the cause of the explosion.”

On Saturday, the company said the fire burnt out completely and that a joint team with the relevant authorities, stakeholders and expert organisations had commenced investigations into the incident. 

It is unclear how much oil has spilt into the sea from the Trinity Spirit or whether the 10 crew members are safe.

The vessel which has a storage capacity of two million barrels raised fears of a major ecological disaster.

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Amos Abba is a journalist with the International Center for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, who believes that courageous investigative reporting is the key to social justice and accountability in the society.

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