Many people are feared killed with dozens of vehicles razed during an oil pipeline explosion in Ijegun, a suburb of Lagos.
Men of the Lagos State Fire Service are currently battling the wild fire, which was said to have started in the early hours of Thursday following the nefarious activities of suspected oil rogues.
The Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, (LASEMA), confirmed the incident saying it occurred when security operatives intercepted the suspected vandals who were engaged in illegal scooping of petroleum product from the ruptured Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) pipeline in the area.
According to LASEMA’s Chief Executive Officer, Femi Osanyintolu, the suspected oil thieves had already loaded a 33,000 litre tanker and were on the verge of loading the second tanker of the same capacity when security agents showed up and in a bid to escape arrest, the suspects set fire which was aided by the fuel that spilled in the drainage as a result of the vandalism.
LASEMA boss said: “The incident occurred this morning 4 July, 2019 at 5.am.
“On arrival of LRT to the scene of the incident, it was gathered that some vandals were engaged in bunkering activities at Fire Junction,Ijegun within the vicinity where an NNPC pipeline was buried.
“The vandals had already siphoned petrol into a 33,000litre tanker,. While a second tanker of the same capacity was being loaded, security agencies suddenly intercepted the vandals.
“While trying to escape from the security agencies, some of the siphoned fuel spilled into the drainage and the vandals were alleged to have set the spilled fuel on fire in a bid to deter the security agencies from apprehending them.
“The fire then spread back to the pipeline, the point where the vandals had siphoned the fuel and exploded with escalating fire which led to 2 fatalities and over 30 vehicles burnt. The actual loss will be determined upon conducting post disaster enumeration after the fire has been put out.
“Responders at the scene include: LASG fire service men, NSCDC, NPF and the Agency’s officials.”