*Assures of steady fuel supply
Abuja — The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Sunday, said none of its facilities was responsible for the early morning blast that rocked Abule-Ado in Lagos, while it blamed the explosion on a gas explosion which occurred after a truck hit some gas cylinders stacked in a gas processing plant located near the its system 2B Pipeline Right of Way.
In a statement in Abuja, the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the NNPC, Dr. Kennie Obateru, stated that following the report of the explosion, the corporation quickly shutdown its facility around the area and halted ongoing pumping operations on the Atlas Cove-Mosimi pipeline which was active at the time.
He noted that the temporary shutdown of the critical System 2B pipeline, would not affect the supply of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, also known as petrol, across the country.
Obateru explained that the NNPC had already mobilized its in-house combined team consisting of Health, Safety, Environment experts, medical and security personnel from its nearby Satellite Depot in Lagos, even as Lagos State Fire Service was also rallied to extinguish the fire.
He added that more fire firefighting personnel and equipment were mobillised from the NNPC Mosimi Area Office to provide extra fillip to the ongoing operation.
The spokesperson of the NNPC explained that preliminary findings indicated that the impact of the explosion was so huge that it led to the collapse of nearby houses and damage to NNPC pipeline on which efforts are being made to curtail the resultant fire.
He added that the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari and other top management of the corporation departed to Lagos this evening for an on-the-spot assessment at the scene of the incident.
While assuring members of the public and residents of the affected communities to remain calm, the NNPC’s spokesman assured that the temporary shutdown of the petroleum products pipeline would not affect the normal supply of products to the Lagos and its environs.
He said the fire, currently burring at controlled condition, was being fought headlong, saying a detail assessment of the incident was underway to establish the extent of damage to the pipeline.
“The NNPC Group Managing Director, Mallam Mele Kyari, commiserated with the victims of the incident, praying that God provides them succor at this hour,” he said.