Okey Sampson, Aba
There is palpable fear in Umuaduru community in Osisioma Ngwa Local Government Area of Abia State, over possibility of another pipeline leakage.
This was as a result of detection of a fresh leakage of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly known as petrol, in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) pipeline in the area.
Last Thursday, the NNPC had allegedly pumped PMS into an old and abandoned pipeline, which hitherto supplies petroleum products from its Aba depot to Enugu.
But barely 20 hours after, there was leakage, in the early hours of Friday, which exploded and killed scores of people as well as injured others.
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The explosion also destroyed property, including farmland worth several millions of naira.
No fewer than 50 people died in the explosion, although Abia Command of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) confirmed the death of only 19.
This was even as four more deaths were confirmed, on Saturday, when the Commissioner of Police visited the scene of the inferno.
A native of the community, who declined to be named, said a fresh leakage from the pipeline was detected and that authorities have been alerted.
He regretted that up till the time of this report, nothing had been done to stop the leakage, in order to avert another explosion.
“There has been leakage on the same pipeline that got my people burnt and killed. Some calls were made to the NNPC authorities, and till now (yesterday), the oil is still spilling; nobody has come to rectify it.
“If anything again happens, again, to any other person from my village, because of this carelessness from the NNPC, I believe we will not take it kindly,” he warned.