Panic Over Pipeline Leakage In Lagos

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Residents living around Omoboriowo Street, Pipeline, Bus Stop, located on Igando-Ikotun Road, panicked yesterday morning, took their heels and ran helter-skelter, following pipeline leakage that saw very large volume of premium motor spirit, otherwise known as petrol, gushing out from the big pipe.

The mass exodus of people living near the affected area, was caused, Saturday Sun learnt, by fear of a possible explosion that could ensue from the leakage discovered by occupants of nearby buildings. “We were scared that this could lead a fire outbreak,” one of them, a woman, who did not want mention her name, said.

Residents who spoke to journalists claim to have started noticing the leakage from the pipeline belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) at about 6am yesterday. This led to widespread fear, panic and confusion as residents as the news spread life wildfire.

Some of them were seen parking their belongings and moving to safer areas to avoid being caught in a possible raging petroleum inferno. Vehicles of different sizes and makes parked on the street and its surroundings were also quickly moved away by its owners for the same reason.

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But following calls placed by some of the anxious but enlightened residents to concerned authorities helps were immediately sent to the area from Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), LRU (Light Rescue Unit) Fire, Lagos State Fire Service, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), NNPC, Lagos State Transport Management and Administration (LASTMA) and Lagos Neighbourhood Safety Corps (LNSC).

As at the time of filing this report, life has returned to some level normalcy as the NNPC maintenance team could be seen on the scene working very hard to stop the flow and to commence repairs. The leakage was eventually stopped after some hours of feverish work by the team. But the situation is still fluid as the air is still charged with the smell of discharged PMS.

Speaking on the development, Dr. Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, Director-General, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), linked the leakage to petroleum vandals. “A very large volume of PMS was gushing out of the NNPC pipeline,” he said. “Further investigation revealed that the heavy flow of PMS was caused by suspected pipeline vandalism and bunkering in the early hours of yesterday.

Asked if there was any loss of life, he said: “Presently, there is no loss of life and property, serious sensitization, public education and awareness are ongoing in the entire community. This is to avoid any form of open flame and burning in order to avoid any form of explosion or any other secondary incident.”

Our correspondent who visited the scene reported seeing three fire trucks parked standby to tackle any fire outbreak.

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