The Speaker of the Abia State House of Assembly, Chikwendu Kalu, has said the state government would probe the October 12 oil pipeline explosion that claimed some lives and property in the state.
The incident occurred on Friday in two communities in Osisioma Ngwa Local Government Area of the state.
The report said no fewer than 24 persons were confirmed dead in Umuaduru and Umuimo villages in the area.
Mr Kalu spoke when he visited survivors of the incident, Chima Kaobi and his wife, Amarachi.
The speaker also commiserated with those that lost their loved ones in the fire and promised that government would initiate necessary measures to forestall a recurrence.
He assured that the state government would institute an investigative panel to ascertain the immediate and remote causes of the explosion.
Mr Kalu expressed concern over the critical condition of the couple and appealed to the hospital management to do everything humanly possible to save their lives.
The survivors suffered severe burns and were currently receiving medical attention at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Abia University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Aba.
Agnes Onyekachi-Chigbu, the Chief Nursing Officer on duty, said that the couple had “mixed thickness” and that the medical personnel were struggling to save their lives.
Mrs Onyekachi-Chigbu said that four victims, including the couple, were brought to the hospital on Friday but that the other two died on Saturday.
She said the couple was asleep in their house when fire from the explosion engulfed their home.
She said that the woman, who rushed to wake up her husband and their four children, was also affected by the fire with her husband, while the children escaped unhurt.
Meanwhile, the speaker has decried the power outage at the hospital, especially at the ICU during the visit.
He described the development as worrisome and ordered the management to switch on the hospital’s power generator in order to save the lives of the patients.
The electrician in charge of the hospital’s power unit had explained that it was management’s rule that the generator should only be switched on between 7.30 p.m. and 11.30 p.m. daily.
But the speaker directed the hospital management to appear before the House over the development.