The explosion that rocked parts of Lagos on Sunday occurred when a truck hit some gas cylinders in the area, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said.
The corporation made this known in a statement by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the NNPC, Kennie Obateru.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how the explosion occurred at the Abule-Ado Area of Lagos State, in the early hours of Sunday.
Scores of residents, including school children, were trapped in buildings as the explosion shook the area and nearby places.
NNPC said on sunday that the incident occurred after a truck hit some gas cylinders stacked in a gas processing plant located near the corporation’s system 2B Pipeline Right of Way.
As soon as the incident occured, the corporation said it quickly halted ongoing pumping operations on the Atlas Cove-Mosimi pipeline which was active at the time.
Mr Obateru noted that the temporary shutdown of the critical System 2B pipeline would not affect the supply of petrol across the country.
He disclosed that the NNPC had already mobilized its in-house combined team consisting of health, safety and environment experts, medical and security personnel from its nearby Satellite Depot in Lagos, even as Lagos State Fire Service was also rallied to extinguish the fire.
The statement added that more fire firefighting personnel and equipment were mobillised from the NNPC Mosimi Area Office to provide extra fillip to the ongoing operation.
According to him, preliminary findings indicated that the impact of the explosion was so huge that it led to the collapse of nearby houses. He disclosed further that the explosion caused damage to NNPC pipeline.
NNPC boss, Mele Kyari, and other top management of the corporation departed to Lagos Sunday evening for an on-the-spot assessment at the scene of the incident.
“The NNPC Group Managing Director, Mallam Mele Kyari, commiserated with the victims of the incident, praying that God provides them succor at this hour,” the statement said.
While assuring members of the public and residents of the affected communities to remain calm, the NNPC explained that the temporary shutdown of the petroleum products pipeline would not affect the normal supply of products to the Lagos and its environs.
Neither the NNPC nor the fire service and the police have provided a figure on the casualty from the fire.
At least five people were confirmed dead, residents earlier told PREMIUM TIMES.
President Muhammadu Buhari has since commiserated with families who lost loved ones, and all those affected by explosion.
The president condoled with the Lagos State government and all residents affected by the unfortunate incident, which left many injured and destroyed property.
“I have received with sadness the news of this unfortunate incident which caused loss of lives and property.
“A misfortune of whatever scale anywhere is a tragedy to the country, and while the NNPC makes efforts to determine the cause of the incident, I send my deepest and profound sympathises to the victims, their families, government and people of Lagos State,” Mr Buhari said, according to a statement by his spokesperson, Garba Shehu.
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