The fire outbreak at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) oil pipeline along Osisioma axis, near Aba depot in the Corporation’s System 2E pipeline network has been blamed on pipeline vandals and petroleum products thieves.
The Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, disclosed this in a statement. Ughamadu confirmed fatalities and loss of properties in the ensuing inferno.
He stated that safety experts of the NNPC, along with men of the Abia State Fire Service, had swung into action to contain the situation, promising to provide updates on the situation as events unfold.
Stating that the activities of vandals might have caused the inferno, Ughamadu said that the oil thieves might have hacked into the line to intercept flow of petrol from Port Harcourt to Aba.
Also speaking on the incident, Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr. Maikanti Baru, expressed shock at the wanton wilful destruction of lives and properties occasioned by the incident.
Baru prayed that God reposes the souls of the innocent ones that perished in the incident, even as he warned members of the public against tampering with oil and gas facilities many of which he said were inflammable.
He also called on host communities to create avenues to moderate criminal tendencies of a few bad eggs living among them.