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Vanguard (Nigeria): Warri kerosine explosions: Death toll rises

By Emma Amaize & Emma Arubi
Posted to the Web: Tuesday, July 24, 2007

WARRI — death toll in the kerosine fire explosion in Delta State rose yesterday as another victim gave up the ghost, bringing the total number of deaths to 11.

Vanguard learnt that the killer kerosine is condensate stolen by pipeline vandals and sold to roadside retailers of the product.

The Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) recently raised an alarm on the activities of the illegal condensate bunkerers, while the Joint Task Force on the Niger Delta arrested no fewer than eight suspects with five tankers used in siphoning condensate from oil pipelines.

The company warned that the condensate could kill and urged the people to stop siphoning the product.

Victims stretch hospital’s facilities

However, authorities of the Warri Central Hospital said yesterday that the hospital’s facilities were being over stretched by the increasing number of kerosine fire victims referred there from different parts of the state. They, therefore, asked government to assist the hospital to be able to cope with the situation.

The Chief Consultant Surgeon, Dr. Peter Oside, briefing a team of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) officials from the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and journalists on the kerosine explosion in Warri and environ said the hospital was short of personnel, drugs and other vital materials needed for the treatment of burns.

Ten victims have been confirmed dead so far while 17 women, six men and six children are still on admission in  hospitals.

Meanwhile, the DPR has advised kerosine users to desist from buying petroleum products from roadside hawkers for their own safety.

Mr Emordi, the Public Relations Officer of the DPR, gave the advice at the Central Hospital where he led officials of the Department to commiserate with victims of kerosine fire yesterday. He said the DPR was already investigating the samples of the kerosine to enable it identify the source.

http://www.vanguardngr.com/articles/2002/cover/july07/24072007/f524072007.html

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