OIL SPILL TRIGGERS INFERNO IN BAYELSA
By Samuel Oyadongha & Kunle Kalejaye
Yenagoa- Confusion, Wednesday, enveloped Ikarama community in Okordia clan in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State when an oil spill, from a facility owned by Shell Petroleum Development Company, triggered an outbreak of fire in the predominantly agrarian settlement.
The development forced Shell to shut in production.
Vanguard learnt that no life was lost in the inferno which started on Tuesday at about 2am.
The immediate cause of the spill could not be ascertained, though it was gathered that the community noticed a fresh crude oil spill Monday night on the Okordia/Rumuekpe line, less than 200 metres from the Okrodia Manifold.
The fire, sources said, might have been caused by bush burning from unsus-pecting community folks who usually burn farmlands.
An indigene, Washing-ton Oderibo, said though the raging inferno was contained, Shell was yet to repair the pipeline.
Meanwhile, Shell through its spokesman, Mr. Precious Okolobo, yesterday, confirmed the fire outbreak.
Okolobo told Vanguard: 'Shell confirmed reports of a fire incident this morning (yesterday) on the Okordia/Rumuekpe line at Ikarama in Bayelsa State and mobilised a fire fighting team to the site. Some production has been shut in.
'A joint investigation visit planned for tomorrow (today) will determine the cause and impact of the fire.
'We received reports of a spill and were mobilising for the investigation of the cause when news of the fire came in. We will work to put out the fire before investigation and repairs.'