The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has confirmed that the explosion that occurred yesterday, in Abule-Ado area of Lagos suburb was as a result of a truck that hit some gas cylinders in a gas processing plant.
According to NNPC the gas plant was located near the Corporation’s System 2B pipeline’s right of way.
No fewer than 17 persons is said to have lost their life in the explosion and about 25 others who are injured and are receiving treatment in hospitals..
Also over 50 buildings and houses have been destroyed including a school called; Bethlehem Girls College a boarding school. The Principal of the college, Rev. Sr. Henritta Alokha, is said to have lost her life while attempting to rescue some of the pupils. Several vehicles parked in the area were not spared by the explosion.
Meanwhile a statement signed by NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Dr. Kennie Obateru, the corporation 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.
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.
Obateru stated that following the report of the explosion, the corporation quickly halted ongoing pumping operations on the Atlas Cove-Mosimi pipeline which was active at the time.
The release explained that 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.
The release said more fire firefighting personnel and equipment were mobillised from the NNPC Mosimi Area Office to provide extra fillip to the ongoing operation.
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.