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Smoke billows from the NP tank that exploded on Friday.

A preliminary report is due by tomorrow on last Friday’s explosion at NP’s Sea Lots tank farm. The company also wants an independent probe of the incident, CEO John Gormandy confirmed yesterday.

The explosion occurred just before 1 pm on the southern end of NP’s Sea Lots compound where the tank farm is located. NP said in a statement that the explosion occurred when a contractor was on site extracting residual product from a storage tank as part of routine repair exercises.

Video of the incident showed the top of the tank being blasted off by the sudden explosion’s force and falling to the ground. The white-hot glare of the blast was followed by immediate flames and black smoke shooting high into the air.

There were no fatalities but two people who were near to the tank were injured in the blast and were taken to hospital for emergency treatment.

Authorities began immediate work to determine the cause of the explosion. NP’s fuel supplies have not been affected by the incident

CEO Gormandy said, “We want an in-depth probe of the matter and will be getting a mixed team of NP personnel as well as others from outside of the company to handle this.”

Gormandy projected the independent probe should be completed within a week or two.

He said the explosion was the first of its kind in recent history. The last was almost 50 years ago when there had been an explosion involving an LPG tank.

Yesterday, energy sector experts described an in-depth investigation as a positive move. They said areas of concern include the procedures involved in work on the tank, its state at the time and prior and compliance on codes.

NP is monitoring the condition of the two people who were injured. Sources close to the injured workers said one, a middle-aged man who is warded at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital with burns to the body, was closest to the tank at the time of the incident and was thrown by the force of the blast. A younger man who was also working in the area sustained some burns to his face.

The explosion area was secured and sealed off and some examination of the scene was being done yesterday.