NEPZA investigates Calabar Free Trade Zone tragedy

Posted by News Express | 18 July 2017 | 1,864 times

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•NEPZA MD, Hon. Emmanuel Jime

The Federal Government says it is setting up a panel of investigators to look into the tragic incident that led to the fire disaster that burnt down a tank farm and killed 10 persons at the Calabar Free Trade Zone at Esuk Utan Community, Cross River State.

Managing Director of the  Nigeria Export Processing Zone Authority (NEPZA), Hon. Emmanuel Jime said that although he suspected illegalities going on at the tank farm to be the primary reason for the incident, anyone or tank farm found culpable would be prosecuted to serve as a deterrent.

He was speaking in Calabar during an on-the-spot assessment of the tragic event.

Last Sunday remains a dark day at the Esuk Utan community, which is in the vicinity of the Calabar Export Processing Zone following a fire disaster that led to the death of 10 persons with others hospitalised.

The NEPZA MD, while at the Free Trade Zone, inspected the tank farm where the incident began alongside other federal delegation.

Addressing the media, Jime said the government regreted the act which, according to him, was carried out against NEPZA’s safety regulations.

He reiterated the government’s determination to, as much as possible, try to avoid such tragedies.

“I want to use this opportunity of this platform to pay our respects to the dead and to also say to those who have lost their loved that our prayers are with them at this point in time.

“We can only say that, from the preliminary report that I have read so far, it does appear somebody was actually meddling with the pipe. It is quiet safe to say, there was a criminal intention but we are not able to say that for now until investigations are thoroughly conducted.”

The team later visited some of the victims presently receiving treatment at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital. (Channels TV)


Source: News Express

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