Explosion fuelled speculations about possible attack.
Following the fire incident that engulfed the Conoil filling station in Abuja on Thursday, the management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, moved swiftly to allay fears about any impact on its corporate headquarters.
The corporation’s General Manager, Media Relations Department, Omar Ibrahim, said none of the four towers of the NNPC office complex was affected by any inferno nor bombing by any insurgent group.
The fire broke out when a fuel tanker was offloading petrol at the filling station located across the road, opposite the NNPC Towers. There was a massive explosion when one of the underground tanks was affected.
The loud sound of the explosion, heard several metres away from the scene of the fire incident, fuelled speculations that the corporation may have been impacted or under attack.
However, Mr. Ibrahim said when the filling station went up in flames, the NNPC, as a socially responsible and responsive corporate body, mobilised its firemen to help combat the raging inferno.
“I can say without mincing words that the fire incident had nothing to do with explosion in the Towers,” Mr. Ibrahim stated.
No casualty was reported during the incident, though normal commercial services have since been stopped till further notice
Though the fire was brought under control through the combined efforts of the fire fighting authorities and the construction companies, fresh fears were expressed by residents that the incident might affect the retail of petroleum products in the business district, considering the number of customers that usually patronise the station.
The station is one of the few retail outlets in the Central Business District, CBD, outside the NNPC mega station, that usually render 24 hours service to customers.