A huge explosion triggered by a dawn fire Wednesday rocked a jetty operated by the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) at Okrika in Rivers state, partially destroying the facility and some vessels that were being loaded with crude oil, and leaving several people injured, the police said.
Rivers state Police Commissioner Felix Ogbaudu told journalists the cause of t he fire had not been ascertained.
”We have sent in men of the joint military task force to secure the area and ensure safety of lives of property while investigations into the cause of the fire are already on,” said the police boss.
Eyewitnesses said the combined efforts of the Rivers state fire service and the NNPC firemen prevented the fire from spreading into Okrika town.
Armed soldiers have cordoned off the jetty while NNPC officials have stopped t he flow of crude oil into the jetty.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, which came a few days after militants in the oil region vowed to step up their attacks on oil facilities and abduction of workers to protest plans by the military task force in the area to intensify its military campaign.