By Elizabeth Uwandu
The Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) has stated that two persons lost their lives and over 30 vehicles burnt at early morning pipeline explosion that occurred in Ijegun, a community in Igando-Ikotun area local council developing area of Lagos State.
Recall that the explosion happened around 5 am on Thursday after some individuals involved in oil bunkering finished scooping fuel from a vandalised pipeline in the area.
According to eyewitnesses, the oil thieves were alleged to have disguised themselves with uniforms similar to that of police and the army as a result, the residents could not accost them.
Speaking on the development, LASEMA CEO, Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, said the vandals had loaded a 33,000-litre capacity truck with premium motor spirit (petrol) and were loading a second one when security operatives intercepted them.
Oke-Osanyintolu, said, “It was gathered that some vandals were engaged in bunkering activities at Fire Junction, Ijegun within the vicinity where an NNPC pipeline was buried. The vandals had already siphoned petrol into a 33,000litre tanker. While a second tanker of the same capacity was being loaded, security agencies suddenly intercepted the vandals.
“While trying to escape from the security agencies, some of the siphoned fuel spilled into the drainage and the vandals were alleged to have set the split fuel on the fire in a bid to deter the security agencies from apprehending them. The fire then spread back to the pipeline, the point where the vandals had siphoned the fuel and exploded with the escalating fire which led to 2 fatalities and over 30 vehicles burnt.”
Operatives of the Lagos state fire service, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Nigeria Police Force and LASEMA are at the scene, trying to put out the fire.