At least five oil workers including a Briton have reportedly lost their lives in a tragic accident at an oil facility operated by Seplat Energy Limited at Ovhor in Sapele, Delta State.

The tragic accident occurred on Tuesday when ‘Majestic rig’ recently acquired by Seplat was being installed at the Ovhor oilfield in a riverine community of Sapele.

It was gathered that some other crew members on board at the time of the incident were still missing at the time of filing this report.

But in a swift reaction, Seplat Energy claimed only one oil worker died from the mishap while a few others were yet to be accounted for.

Sources within the company confirmed the incident, revealing that at least five lifeless bodies have been recovered from the scene of the incident by Seplat’s rescue team.

The Majestic Rig said to be operated by SEPLAT/NNPCL joint venture collapsed with 96 crew members on board in the early hours of Tuesday.

Our sources, who declined disclosing the identity of the victims, said among the bodies of the deceased recovered so far include that of a British expatriate, who among the crew members.

It was gathered that the company immediately activated rescue operation when the unfortunate incident occurred.

“As soon as we got the news of the incident, the company activated search and rescues mechanisms, and the efforts yielded great results, as we speak most of the workers are safe and getting medical attention, but sadly, we lost about 6 staff, a Briton included with about 6 other workers still missing as at 8pm today,” one of the sources added.

Meanwhile, Seplat Energy Plc has confirmed the collapse of the rig, claiming only fatality was recorded.

In a statement issued by Seplat’s Executive Officer, Mr. Roger Brown, noted that out of the 96 crew members on the rig, 92 of them are safe.

The statement further says some of its workers were still missing.

“Seplat Energy regrets to announce a serious incident on the Depthwise swamp drilling rig “Majestic” in the early hours of this morning. Seplat as the operator of the SEPLAT/NNPCL joint venture contracted the rig. It was in-transit to its planned drilling location at Ovhor in Delta State when it capsized.

“92 of the 96-member crew are accounted for and safe. However, tragically one fatality occurred during the incident, while three other rig personnel are still missing.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the crew member who sadly lost his life and the three crew members who are still missing at the time of this report. Our emergency response and rescue efforts working alongside the rig owner and the authorities have been activated and are onsite. Our utmost priority will continue to be the safety and wellbeing of all the affected personnel and their families.

“We will provide further details as our understanding of the incident develops. A detailed investigation into the cause of the accident will follow.”

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