Gas explosion triggered Lagos blast, says NNPC

…warns against gas sales, buildings near oil pipelines

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has confirmed that a gas explosion caused the blast which rocked Abule Ado area of Lagos State.

In a statement by the Group General Manager, Public Affairs Division, Dr Kennie Obateru, on Sunday, the blast 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.

He added that preliminary findings indicated that the impact of the explosion was huge that it led to the collapse of nearby houses and damaged some NNPC pipelines.

Dr Obateru said when the corporation heard about the explosion, it halted ongoing pumping operation on the Atlas Cove-Mosimi pipeline which was active at the time of the incident, while efforts are being made to curtail the fire.

The NNPC spokesman appealed to members of the public and residents of the affected communities to remain calm and assured that the temporary shutdown of the petroleum products pipeline would not affect the normal supply of products to Lagos and its environs.

Meanwhile, NNPC Group Managing Director (GMD), Mele Kyari, has warned Lagos residents to desist from building houses, as well as vendors, to desist from selling gas around the corporation’s pipeline right of way (ROW).

Speaking during an on-the-spot assessment of an explosion site in Abule-Ado area of Festac town in Amuwo Odofin Local Government area of Lagos State, where a blast occurred on Sunday, Mr Kyari said the explosion was aggravated by a spark that ignited fire from an extensively charged atmosphere that emanated from gas cylinder leakages.

“There are problems around standard processes that are not optimum and has allowed things to happen. Explosions caused by a spark that ignited fire from an extensively charged atmosphere that emanated from gas cylinder leakages.

Our pipeline, unfortunately, is very close to this location, so the incident ignited our pipeline; we will take down the fire immediately with all the efforts of partners, but the important thing is that people should not build houses around pipelines, it is very dangerous and they should respect our right of way. It is for the safety of all and it is about ensuring people are safe.”

He sympathised with the people and government of the state while appreciating the response time of other agencies.

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