27 June 2013, Lagos – The Pipelines and Products Marketing Company, PPMC, the marketing arm of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, says it has successfully put out a pipeline fire in Lagos, which occurred while vandals tried to siphon fuel.
Attempts by the vandals to steal oil from the Akinbo Jetty, Ilado, near Atlas Cove, Lagos, early Wednesday morning backfired as their canoe was gutted by fire, thereby preventing them from carting away their loot. The development comes as the Nigerian Navy confirmed that there were no casualties from the incident.
Initial reports claimed the vandalism occurred at the Atlas Cove Jetty, Nigeria’s biggest reception jetty for refined products, thereby leading to an explosion at the tank farm. But PPMC spokesperson, Mr. Nasir Imodagbe, who denied rumours of the explosion at Atlas Cove, confirmed that the incident took place at Ilado, a notorious spot for pipeline vandalism in Lagos.
He said: “There was no explosion at the Atlas Cove yesterday (Tuesday). What happened was that vandals attacked a pipeline at Ilado and in the process their canoe gutted fire. The fire also extended to the pipeline, and our engineers immediately swung into action and successfully put out the fire. Now we are in the process of repairing the pipeline.”
Similarly, the Navy in a statement Wednesday, confirmed that the situation was now under control. A spokesperson for the Western Naval Command, Lt.-Commander Jerry Omodara, said no casualty was recorded in the pipeline fire.
He said: “The situation has been brought under control and I spoke with the Commander NNS Beecroft, Commodore Chris Ezekobe, and he confirmed that he had already deployed some officers to the area to assess the level of the explosion.
“At the moment we are yet to identify the chief cause of the explosion but it happened around the police post near the Atlas Cove”.