20 January 2014, Lagos – Chaos erupted at the Arepo area of Ogun State Sunday evening when a pipeline belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was severely ruptured by suspected pipeline vandals who are still at large.
The pipeline which is located along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway was said to have exploded after the vandals numbering over 20 ruptured it.
Confirming the incident, the South-west Zonal Spokesperson of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr. Ibrahim Farinloye, said the agency was alerted and subsequently informed NNPC on the development.
He said the pipeline exploded as a result of the activities of the vandals and resulted in heavy fire balls from the scene, which emergency responders and the fire service, are battling to put off even as at press time.
He said although there was no casualty, NNPC and other agencies were expected to converge at the scene today to secure the scene as well as put measures on ground to put off the smoulder.
“We were informed late and we went there. At the moment, supplies sources and valves of pipelines had been blocked to suffocate the fire in order to put it out easily,” he said.
In a similar development, three tankers, fully loaded with 40,000 litres of petrol, were engulfed by fire near National Theatre, Iganmu, Lagos, yesterday afternoon.
Although the incident caused a heavy traffic in the area, hours after the fire started, the fire service in the state was able to extinguish the fire and bring the situation under control.
He alleged that the incident was caused by one of the tankers which was trying to trans-load product to another tanker without taking proper precautionary measures.
“They tried to trans-load without the presence of fire men, which ordinarily should have been on stand-by in case of fire incident.
“Although no one sustained injuries or casualties, we were informed late and we went there to put off the fire,” Farinloye said.
– Chiemelie Ezeobi, This Day