The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) says its pipeline along Osisioma road near Aba Depot, Abia State, exploded on Friday killing 16 people.
The Abia commander of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, Benito Eze, disclosed this to journalists in Umuahia, the state capital.
He said the affected pipeline was in the cooperation’s System 2E pipeline network
Eze said “16 persons, including one woman, died in the explosion that occurred around 2.47 a.m. at Umuaduru Village in Umueze Autonomous Community.”
He also disclosed that three others died in a separate domestic fire that occurred at about 3 a.m. in a private residence at Umuimo Village in the same local government.
NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Ndu Ughamadu, confirmed incident.
He said the corporation’s safety experts, along with men of the Abia State Fire Service, had swung into action to contain the fire.
NNPC Group Managing Director, Maikanti Baru, expressed shock at the willful destruction of lives and property occasioned by the incident.
He prayed for the repose of the souls of those who lost their lives in the incident, and warning members of the public against tempering with oil and gas facilities many of which he noted were inflammable.
He also called on host communities to find means of keeping the miscreants among them away from the corporation’s facilities.