The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has blamed suspected oil thieves for the fire incident that happened in Umuaduru and Umuimo communities in Abia state.
The Corporation disclosed this in a statement signed by its spokesman, Ndu Ughamadu, in Abuja on Thursday.
Ughamadu said that the allegation that negligence on the part of the corporation caused the fire incident Friday last week, was false.
He affirmed that the incident was triggered off by suspected oil thieves who had hacked into System 2E pipeline network with a view to intercepting the flow of petrol from Port Harcourt to Aba.
Ughamadu said the clarification became necessary in view of the recent statement by a legislator indicting NNPC on the fire outbreak, which had claimed lives and valuable property.
Ughamadu prayed that God reposes the souls of the innocent ones that perished in the incident and warned members of the public against tempering with oil facilities which he described as inflammable.