Four more persons have been confirmed dead at the University Of Calabar Teaching Hospital, UCTH, following Sunday tank farm fire in Calabar. This report was confirmed by a source on Monday evening at UCTH.
According to the source, 6 victims were brought in dead and 11 critically injured. “On Sunday 6 persons were brought in dead and 11 were admitted for treatment, but 4 have died as at Monday evening remaining 7 victims.”
Earlier the Cross River State Commissioner for Information, Honourable Rosemary Archibong told The New Diplomat that federal government will respond to the situation soon as the incident occurred in export free zone.
“Yes some people have died. The cause is that there was delivery of petrol and excess was coming out from the vessel at the tank farm. People were scooping it and in the process the fire started”.
Reacting to question of availability of petroleum product supply in the region, Hon. Archibong assured steady supply of products.
“It is a company incident though what affects one will affect others but there will not be any significant effect on petrol supply because we have many tank farms here. The Commissioner for Petroleum has reported and we are expecting that the federal govt would react very soon as FZE is a federal property.”
As regarding preventive measure and public safety, the Cross River State Information boss stated that a holistic approach would be adopted after investigation into the fire incident.
“That will be much base on the outcome of investigation being carried out, and then we can address the situation permanently. It’s just that our people should apply more caution whenever they see so call ‘free petrol’ because it is this illegal attitude of ours that caused the problem. Everybody went out to scoop from whatever they see coming out and the company ought to have applied better safety measures. The general public still need to be educated not to take advantage of what they see as free product and go to harm themselves. The lives lost were members of the public, we just have to be a bit more safety conscious. ”
Meanwhile, the managing director of the zone who visited victims at UCTH has promised to take care of the bills and requested that they be given best medical attention. However the CMD of the hospital did not answer calls to confirm the additional four death casualties said to have been recorded as at the time of filing this report.