Pipeline explosion: Victims’ relatives lament Agip’s neglect

Posted by News Express | 21 September 2015 | 3,865 times

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Relatives of the victims of the pipeline explosion at Agip’s oil field at Azuzuama community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area in Bayelsa State have decried the neglect and insensitivity of the oil firm.

A pipeline explosion on July 9, 2015 killed 14 people including a regulatory official of Bayelsa Ministry of Environment and National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) and 12 others.

Officials of Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), representatives of the host community and Bayelsa Ministry of Environment were investigating the cause of a recent oil spill in the area when the blast occurred.

Mr. Karibi MacDonald, Spokesman of the bereaved families, said yesterday in Yenagoa that Agip had neither shown remorse nor commiserated with the families of the victims.

“It is very unfortunate that Agip is so insensitive to the needless death of 14 Nigerians due to the poor safety records in their oil fields, there has been no contact with the families of the bereaved.

“The stance of Agip since this incident occurred has been regrettable they have not bothered to contact any of the families even during the burial of the victims, my own brother was buried three weeks ago and we did not see Agip.

“It is very sad that a foreign company can be this arrogant and be shying away from its liability and could not even commiserate with the bereaved families.

“We are calling on the federal government who are their joint venture partners to call them to order to avert incurring the wrath of the dead; the total lack of remorse by Agip is unacceptable.

“So far, preliminary investigations show that no effort was made to prevent the explosion as flammable materials were not cleared from the site before repair work, neither was the pipeline shut.

“What happened was not an accident, it was preventable, Agip killed our brothers and they are not sorry about what has happened.”

The Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria had on September 16 demanded $28 million compensation for 14 victims, amounting to $2 million for each victim.

According to a statement issued by an Eni Spokesman Mr Filipo Cotalini, the parent company of NAOC, the cause of the explosion is being investigated.

Both Eni and NAOC officials however declined several requests to comment on the allegations of neglect by the relatives of the dead victims of the blast.

Source: News Express

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