By Ugochukwu Alaribe
ABA—NO fewer than two persons reportedly died as a car laden with gallons of fuel exploded yesterday, at Umuode community, Osisioma Ngwa Local Government Area, Abia State.
It was suspected that the car, occupied by three persons that had scooped fuel from a leaking pipeline in the area, were on their way to their destination when the fuel trickled into the exhaust pipe and exploded. The driver escaped, while two persons and the car were burnt beyond recognition.
A resident told Vanguard that an explosion was heard near the pipeline area at about 1a.m., yesterday.
According to the source, “we heard an explosion at the pipeline area. We thought people had gone to scoop fuel, but when the day broke, we saw a car with two persons burnt beyond recognition.
“From the way we saw it, the car was coming from the pipeline route, near the Geometric Power Company when it exploded. It appeared they were carrying fuel in the car which caught fire.”
Two days after a pipeline exploded, killing over 150 persons at Umuaduru and Umuimo villages in Osisioma Ngwa council, residents of other villages in the area hosting oil facilities had, last week, raised the alarm over some pipelines spilling petroleum products and urged NNPC authorities to check the trend to avert further loss of lives.
President, Osisioma Ngwa Youths Congress, Mr. Emma Nduagu, said he had gotten report of the incident which burnt a car and claimed some lives, but was yet to get to the scene.
Public Relations Officer, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corpse, NSCDC, Eke Onyekachi, could not be reached on his mobile number at press time.