The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said that an oil pipeline caught fire along the Osisioma axis near Aba Depot in its System 2E pipeline network. The corporation said the incident might have been caused by suspected oil thieves who had hacked into the line to intercept flow of petrol from Port Harcourt to Aba. NNPC group general manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr Ndu Ughamadu, confirmed fatalities and loss of properties in the ensuing inferno. Ughamadu said the corporation’s safety experts, 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.
NNPC group managing director, Dr Maikanti Baru, expressed shock at the wanton willful destruction of lives and properties occasioned by the incident. He prayed that God reposes the souls of the innocent ones that perished in the incident, even as he warned members of the public against tempering with oil and gas facilities many of which he said were inflammable. Baru called on host communities to create avenues to moderate criminal tendencies of a few bad eggs living among them.