Families who lost loved ones in the pipeline explosion at Kom Kom in Oyigbo Local Government Area of Rivers say they have buried their dead just as more bodies have been recovered from the adjoining swamps.
The explosion occurred on Saturday morning while locals were scooping fuel from a pipeline belonging to the Petroleum Products Marketing Company, PPMC, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, leaving a yet-to-be-ascertained number of persons burnt to death and 20 others fatally injured.
Engineers from Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, and NNPC had a day before the explosion, inspected a fractured valve on the pipeline.
However, the fractured valve started leaking early on Saturday morning forcing locals to converge at the point to scoop leaking fuel leading to the explosion.
Theportcitynews correspondent gathered from bereaved families that victims of the fire were mostly youths below the age of 30.
Some families lost two to three family members in the inferno while others are still looking missing relatives whose bodies are still possibly buried in the swamp.
Rescue efforts by locals are ongoing with more bodies recovered on Monday making a total of 45 bodies recovered so far.
Although, they said that the manual process used by the youths are hampering speedy recovery and called on both the state and the federal government to assist the community in recovering the remaining dead bodies from the swamps.
Meanwhile, another fire started on Monday at the scene of the explosion when a damaged pipeline sparked off fresh fire stalling the proposed visit by the joint investigating team of National Oil Spill Detection Agency, NOSDRA and NNPC.
NOSDRA, the government’s agency responsible for oil spill had said it would commence an investigation into the explosion when the fire is properly put off.