The Director of DPR, Mr. Mordecai Ladan, spoke when he led some management staff of the agency to assess the extent of damage caused by the explosion.
At least 11 persons have been confirmed dead as a result of the explosion, while seven others are currently receiving treatment at the burns ward of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar, Cross River State.
The Linc Oil and Gas depot has been sealed by the DPR.
Ladan said the visit was to inspect the scene of the accident and get firsthand information from the depot management.
He said, “From what we have seen on the ground, we suspect that the fire may have been caused by illegal activities of some workers around.
“The DPR will set up a panel to investigate the whole situation. Thereafter, a much deeper investigation will be carried out to unravel the true cause of the explosion.
“It is very unfortunate because lives were lost. We commiserate with the families of those that lost their loved ones during the explosion.
“The fire incident happened around 4am. How were people able to gain access into the place at that time? We suspect that some people were doing something very illegal at that odd hour.”
He also attributed the explosion to the negligence of workers in the depot, saying there were no adequate security measures in place to check illegal activities in the depot.
Ladan said the DPR would work with relevant agencies in the oil sector to ensure that explosion of such magnitude never occurred again.
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