Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
People of Rumuoji Community in Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State have been thrown into panic due to a deafening sound from an explosion which was followed by emission of gaseous substances into the atmosphere from a facility operated by the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG on Thursday evening.
Rumuoji community is about 35 minutes drive to Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
The sound of the explosion and the earth vibration it caused in the Rumuoji community made inhabitants to run halter-skelter for safety, it was gathered.
Eyewitnesses said the sound and the resultants vibration on earth surface in the community also resulted in cracks on the walls of the houses in the community.
Members of the community are calling for investigation of the incident and NLNG Engineers.
Firefighters and National Emergency and Disaster Management teams have been deployed to the community to avoid fire and deaths.
When contacted the Rivers State Government through the Commissioner for Environment, Prof.Roseline Konya confirmed the incident and said the state government is aware and had contacted NLNG about the explosion.
She said that the Company has promised to move its emergency team to the sight and investigate and contain the leak avert disaster to lives and property.
“We have contacted the NLNG and we are told that they are working on it and very soon the gas leak will be contained. We also use this opportunity to appeal to the Rumuoji community and the members of the public not to panic and Rivers State Task Force on Soot has contacted NLNG and assured they are working on it and they assured that very soon the gas leak will stop”.
Commissioner for Environment, Mrs Konya did not state if the gaseous substances being emitted into the atmosphere is poisonous to humans.
“I cannot say what type of gas is being emitted into the atmosphere. But I can assure you that for whatever gas it is, it cannot be a pleasant thing “.
Meanwhile, the Caretaker Committee Chairman of Emohua Local government area, Mrs Gloria Emereji, has clarified that so far there have been no casualty. She said the men of the fire service and security have been deployed to the area to checkmate any disaster.
“When I was called about the incident, I quickly drove down there. But before I got there the Army and other security agencies have taken position around the area. I contacted the Chief of Staff to the Governor and the Commissioner for Special Duties. Every thing had been contained. There is no cause for alarm,” Mrs Emereji said.
This magazine also learnt that Members of the of the community who have fled their homes out of fear are moving back to their home with cautious optimism.