An assessment of the diversity and abundance of macrobenthic community in a refined-oil (petrol) impacted and fire-ravaged mangrove ecosystem within the vicinity of a marine receipt terminal facility (Atlas Cove) serving as a distribution and pump station for refined products was carried out. The mangrove ecosystem was subjected to massive petrol spillage from a leaking pipeline and eventual fire outbreak. Following rehabilitation activities, a recovery assessment of the impacted ecosystem was carried out. The field surveys revealed that the petrol leakage and fire outbreak resulted in a near complete destruction of the mangrove ecosystem around the Atlas Cove depot, with macrobenthic species diversity index ranging between 0-0.4, compared to 0.78-0.87 in the control stations. The dominant early arrivals or colonizers of the impacted stations areas were Clibanarius africanus and Callinectes amnicola. Early signs of recovery of the impacted area were observed within about two and a half (2 1/2) to three (3) months, based on diversity and abundance indices respectively. The period of early signs of recovery also coincide with an observed reduction in the total hydrocarbon content (THC) levels in the sediment collected from the impacted stations by about nine folds from 3.67 mg/kg to 0.42 mg/kg within 3 months. Despite the apparent signs of recovery, the need for long-term monitoring of the impacted stations was discussed. © Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2006.