Gas pipeline leakage causes panic, disrupts commercial activities in Lagos
Eighteen months after a major tragedy was averted at Ibafo on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, when an excavator operator working for Julius Berger mistakenly ruptured a gas pipeline buried on the road, a similar incident was recorded by the same company yesterday, causing panic among residents of Arepo, Magboro, and neighbouring communities, while disrupting operations of road users and many industrial firms connected to the gas pipeline.
An eyewitness told newsmen the gas pipeline ruptured while Julius Berger was working on its construction site on the Lagos-Ibadan highway around Punch Newspaper head office.
He said: “We suddenly heard a loud sound around 9:30 a.m. It was caused by men of Julius Berger during construction.”
As of the time of this report, emergency responders have turned off the gas stopping the leakage.
The two sections of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway were blocked to motorists, particularly around the Magboro area due to the gas leakage, as emergency responders from LASEMA Response Unit (LRU), Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), the Federal Fire Service, and Nigeria Police Force battled to control the situation at the scene.
While the situation was brought under control, the impact of the disruption was felt as far as industrial estates along the Apapa-Oshodi expressway.
Indeed, many gas users had to switch to alternative energy like diesel to continue operations for the day.
According to a press release by the spokesperson of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Kennie Obateru, the pipeline break, which resulted in gas leakage, was promptly contained through the efforts of NNPC team, officials from the Lagos State Government, and other stakeholders.
“The impacted section of the pipeline has been isolated and the pipeline depressurized such that it poses no danger to the public,” the Managing Director of the Nigerian Gas Marketing Company (NGMC), a subsidiary of NNPC, Faruk Usman, was quoted as saying.
The corporation urged members of the public to go about their duties normally as all safety measures had been put in place to avert any danger, adding that repair work had commenced restoring gas supply as soon as possible.
Chairman of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Gas Group, Dr Michael Adebayo, said that efforts were ongoing to restore normalcy to the operations of many manufacturers.
He added that pressure from the pipelines was affected and remains low, but would be restored in due course.