Explosion in Lagos as vandals rupture NNPC pipeline

There was an explosion in Lagos on
Wednesday after vandals ruptured an oil
pipeline belonging to the Nigerian National
Petroleum Corporation at Akinbo Island.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the culprits came
to the jetty in three barges and canoes
around 1am and ruptured the splash zone of
the pipeline and siphoned thousands of litres
of petrol into jerry cans and operated for
hours undeterred.
However, around 4.30am, there was a fire
outbreak and the pipe through which they
siphoned the fuel as well as a canoe were
engulfed in flames.
Our correspondent, who visited the area,
observed that two security posts were
located about 250 metres from the scene.
About 200 melted jerrycans littered the
The Deputy Manager, Pipelines and Product
Marketing Company, Atlas Cove, Mr. Banjo
Olajide, said he could not say the quantity of
petrol lost to the fire but added that petrol
was usually pumped at the rate of 600 cubic
metres per hour to Mosinmi Depot.
When asked what the PPMC had done to
ensure that pipeline vandals were not
allowed to operate in the area, Olajide said
about 50 policemen and 47 men of the
Nigerian Navy as well as operatives of the
Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps
usually patrolled the area.
He said the agency had built watchtowers
and police posts at the black spots near the
pipelines' right of way.
"We have two security posts and an
observatory tower here just about 200
metres away. We have about 50 policemen,
47 naval personnel stationed here. Some
NSCDC personnel also patrol the area but
they are not here all the time," he said.
Olajide said Nigerian Army engineers had
begun the rehabilitation of the pipelines'
right of way from Atlas Cove and the area
was not difficult for security agents to
Olajide said although oil distribution had
been shut down temporarily until the
affected pipelines were repaired, the incident
would not lead to fuel scarcity.
"It will not affect the supply of fuel. After
things have stabilised, we will continue to
pump petrol. We will check for leakages and
we will make more repairs if need be," he
Officials of the National Emergency
Management Agency, who cordoned off the
area, said it could not be confirmed if there
were any casualties.
The spokesperson, NEMA, South-West Zone,
Ibrahim Farinloye, said, "The fire started at
midnight between 1am and 4am. On getting
there, we could not move too close because
the fire was intense. However, the fire was
put out around 10:48am.
"We did not see any corpses and we cannot
say if anyone was injured. We however
recovered a 16mm hose used by the vandals
as well as parts of boats used by them
"Over 200 damaged kegs were also
recovered. Cooling and pegging process has

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