19 May 2014

Nigeria: Pipeline Fire Kills Scores in Port Harcourt

Lagos — AN unconfirmed number of people have been killed in a pipeline fire that erupted at one of the local pipelines belonging to the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation NNPC in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Residents said vandals who were siphoning fuel from one of the corporations damaged pipeline caused the fire explosion.

The Chairman of Okrika local government area, where the incident took place, Tamuno Williams, confirmed the incident.

“The fire incident is as a result of oil thieves who were siphoning oil from NNPC pipelines. As you can see, there is no management staff of the NNPC or persons you can say are in-charge of the corporations operations here.

"The gates of the NNPC remain closed to visitors, so, we have not seen anybody that we can officially lay our complaints.”

He berated the NNPC management for allegedly covering up accidents in their facilities.

“Those who survived were said to have severely burnt. A lot of things are shrouded in secrecy. We have seen the fire but the NNPC have not giving us permission to go in and verify the enormity of the damage.

"The security there is intensive, yet no NNPC staff wants to speak with us. Since they are not ready to go, we chose to go there ourselves. There are, indeed, casualties but the number of casualties we cannot really confirm. We have been to the creek and we saw the pipelines connections,” Williams said.

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