Two persons died yesterday and many others were injured when a pipeline owned by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) exploded at Gloryland Estate, Isheri Olofin, along the Isheri Igando-LASU expressway.
Our correspondent gathered that the explosion, which occurred at about 8am, sent residents of the estate and the adjoining Diamond Estate scampering in many directions as they initially thought it was a bomb.
Some residents were said to have fled their homes in their night wears when the explosion began and cars reportedly ran into one another as residents attempted to drive their vehicles out of the estate.
But one resident, Bernard Okeke, told Daily Trust that the explosion was not unexpected to him as vandals had been tampering with pipelines there and he had been perceiving the strong smell of petrol in the estate as early as 6am.
Okeke said, “We knew this would happen because everyday pipeline vandals come to scoop fuel in the area. We knew we were sitting on a keg of gunpowder ready to explode. Now it has happened. At least, two persons have been killed. We are appealing to the government to do something urgent as we have reported many times to the NNPC but they did not do anything.”
The Director-General, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Femi Oke-Osanyintolu, confirmed the incident, saying emergency responders had been deployed to the scene.
“There is an outbreak of fire at the back of Diamond Estate along Isheri/LASU-Igando road. I suspect that the fire must have been caused by pipeline vandalism. I have activated the Lagos State Response Plan. All key stakeholders have moved to the scene,” Oke-Osanyintolu said.