NEPZA to probe Calabar tank farm fire incident

Mr Emmanuel Jime

The new managing director of The Nigeria Export Processing Zone Authority (NEPZA), Emmanuel Jime has requested an investigation into Sunday’s fire incident at a tank farm in the Calabar Free Trade Zone (CFTZ).

Mr. Jime, who announced this yesterday in Calabar during a visit to survivors of the fire incident at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH), said an investigation would be launched and “anyone found culpable would be sanctioned according to the law by NEPZA.”

Besides, he said NEPZA would initiate fund-raising for the victims.He said: “I have directed the Head of the Calabar Free Trade Zone to initiate the process of raising some funds.

“At present time, we believe we can offer N2 million to support what is going on here. We would keep liaising with them and talking. Our desire is to see that the seven who are still left are able to go back home to their loved ones and to their family.

“As an authority, there’s little we can do, but we have decided we would extend a token of support so that as much as possible, some of the materials required can be taken care of.”

Jime, who lauded the hospital personnel for their effort to keep the survivors alive, said: “In the face of daunting challenges, this hospital has done well by rising to the occasion and so far, lives have been saved.

“So far, we have lost 10 lives already. Others are still in a bad condition but because of the professionalism displayed by this hospital, we are prayerful and hopeful they can save lives.”

The Chief Medical Director of UCTH, Dr. Thomas Agan, who had earlier appealed for support to take care of the victims and also confirmed that 10 of the victims had died, said: “Six were brought in dead when the incident occurred. Eleven were managed with very severe burns. Four of them as of today are dead and seven are alive with various degrees of burns.”

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