Mesurado River on the Bushrod Island, suburb of Monrovia was early Monday morning the scene of a rush for fuel oil that spilled over from the Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC’s) storage tank.
Upon hearing the news, hundreds of people living close to the LPRC and others that live afar along the Mesurado River from West Point, Freeport, Clara Town and Front Street, among others, stormed the waterway with huge containers to drill fuel floating on the river and the ocean.
Information gathered indicates that those who heard the news first took away dozens of containers filled with fuel oil intended for the Liberian market to their respective localities before daylight.
Several residents from these different communities had taken enough fuel oil in containers before armed officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) could arrive. Attempts by this paper to ascertain from LPRC workers circumstances that caused the fuel to spill over from the holding tank located in the LPRC fence did not materialize.
There was a heavy presence of state security officers who were going after those that took the fuel oil. However, a source at the corporation confided in this paper that while working last Saturday evening, 18 July, they noticed that there was a problem with one of their fuel storage tanks that needed prompt attention to preserve the fuel.
He adds that to their surprise, the fuel leaks out into the Atlantic Ocean where unscrupulous individuals including black market boys carried containers and drilled the leaking fuel from the water into their various localities for business transactions. Meanwhile, several persons who collected fuel into their containers were arrested and the fuel oil confiscated by the police while others standing by the waterway were chased out by the police.
It was not however established as to which of the importers got affected by this fuel leakage from the LPRC premises. Our reporter visited the LPRC premises to get a comment from authorities on the incident but was denied access by security officers assigned at the main entrance to the corporation.
By Emmanuel Mondaye–Edited by Winston W. Parley