By Charles Opurum
Many people have been feared dead following an explosion from a crude oil tapping point in Rumuekpe community in Emuoha Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The explosion is believed to have been caused by the activities of illegal artisanal refiners operating on the trans-Niger Delta Pipeline in the area.
It has also led to the loss of an unspecified number of lives including women, some of whom were burnt beyond recognition and the destruction of property worth millions of naira.
Channels Television gathered that the incident occurred in the wee hours of Friday when one of the buses loaded with crude went up in flames while trying to navigate to an illegal refining point in the area.
An environmentalist and Executive Director, Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre, Fyneface Dumnamene confirmed the incident, saying he received news of the incident through its ‘crude oil spill alert response system.
The spokesperson of the Rivers State Police Command, Grace Iringe-Koko, confirmed the incident to Channels Television in a telephone interview on Friday, saying the Divisional Police Officer is already on his way to the scene.
However, the police authorities in the state are yet to release an official statement with the details as of the time of filing this report.