By Emma Arubi
WARRIâ€”CONFUSION enveloped Iwhrekan community in Ughelli South local government area, as unknown vandals early yesterday morning blew up the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC) Gas-Line at Utorogun plant.
The incident compelled the inhabitants of the area take to their heels for fear of imminent explosion.
The attack, which took place at about 3:30am, with a heavy bang and emission of very offensive smell, sent most of the residents of the community relocating to a safer distance.
Only last week, some hoodlums blew up a gas pipeline at the same Utorogun gas plant, after which a faceless group claimed responsibility.
However, the Iwhrekan community in a statement signed by Pastor Peter Rupleni and Mr. Jonah Gbemre, Chairman and Secretary respectively, condemned the attack on the Gas-Line, sayingÂ they have never had such experience in the community since the commencement of operation at the gas plant.
The Iwhrekan community plays host to the gas plant, a gas manifold with over 16 oil and gas wells.
According to the community, the people have always been in harmony with SPDC, NGC and other companies operating in the area.
Condemning the attack in its entirety, the communityÂ described the attack as criminal, wicked and cruel, adding that the attack will only bring more hardship to the people as well as cause destruction to lives and property, including degradation of the environment.
The community reiterated its demand for employment of its indigenes for surveillance of the gas and oil lines at Utorogun, even as it called on security operatives to track down the perpetrators of the crime.
According to the community, the people will not allow any third party to come and distort their peace in any guise.
Meanwhile, heavily armed military personnel have been deployed to the gas plant to ensure safety of lives, just as officials of the NGC said spirited efforts were being made to clamp the burst line to stop further emission of gas fume, with its attendants threat to lives, properties and health