Fear gripped residents of the oil City of Warri today when a gas pipeline exploded in the early hours of Thursday with a huge ball of flame spiraling to high heavens.
The incident which occurred at about 4am around the Ejere/Batan/Bennet Island axis of the Warri river belonging to the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) in Warri South Council area of Delta state was alleged to have been caused by the activities of oil thieves, even as others alleged that it was cause by system failure.
Though details are still very sketchy as to the real cause of the explosion and inferno, residents of the oil City and nearby riverine communities ran for safety as the inferno gathered momentum.
It was first believed that the explosion was from one of the NNPC Refinery host communities but the Public Relations Officer of Egbokodo Itsekiri community, Hon. Mike Ewetan said they “we sent out our boys into the creeks to ascertain where the explosion and flame emanates from and they have reported that it is not anywhere near their community. So our people are no longer in panic mood.
“he further disclosed that the situation appears to have come under control with the flame dying down because we learnt that the main supply line and valve from the Escravos end have been blocked”, he revealed.
As at the time of filing this story, officials of NGC contacted decline to comment on the incident.