The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), says pipeline vandals and petroleum products thieves triggered a fire outbreak on its oil pipeline along the Osisioma axis, near Aba depot in its System 2E pipeline network in Abia state.
Concise News had reported earlier that Friday’s pipeline explosion in two villages in Osisioma local government area in Abia state left no fewer than nineteen people dead.
Speaking on the incident, the NNPC, in a statement in Abuja by its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Ndu Ughamadu, confirmed fatalities and loss of properties in the ensuing inferno.
Ughamadu said safety experts of the NNPC, along with men of the Abia State Fire Service, had swung into action to contain the situation, saying updates on the situation would be provided as events unfold.
He noted that the incident might have been caused by suspected oil thieves who had hacked into the line to intercept the flow of petrol from Port Harcourt to Aba.
Also speaking on the incident, Maikanti Baru, Group Managing Director of the NNPC, expressed shock at the wanton willful 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.
The NNPC boss also called on host communities to create avenues to moderate criminal tendencies of a few bad eggs living among them.