By Lekan BILESANMI
What would have been a major disaster, few days to Christmas was averted by the combined efforts of fire service men,members of the National Security and Civil Defence Corps, NDSC, the police and staff of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, when an explosion occured along the NNPC pipelines around Isheri Olofin in the Egbe-Idimu Local Council Development Area.
The explosion, on Thursday, though didn’t affect the pipelines of NNPC, occured about 150 meters away in a swampy area and was caused by bush burning by neighbouring farmers. According to eye witnesses, pipelines vandals had channeled their pipes from the NNPC pipeline into the swampy area and so the bush burning only aided the explosion.
Calistus Ukachukwu, an official of Red Cross, corroborated the claim, saying that the explosion was caused by bush burning but added that if the vandals hadn’t chenneled the pipe from the NNPC pipelines, the explosion would not have occured.
For over two hours, the area was burning before fire fighters came on the scene. And when they come, the water they brought could not extinguish the burning bush until they left and returned with some liquid chemical which helped in battling the fire.
It was put off eventually around 4 p.m. None of the NNPC staff there was willing to talk to the press as they disappeared immediately after. The Divisional Police Officer, Idimu and the LCD chair, Honorable Waheed were among those at the scene.