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Pipeline explosion causes panic in Rivers community

By Ann Godwin, Port Harcourt
07 January 2021   |   3:04 am
Residents of Oduoha Community in Emohua Council of Rivers State were thrown into panic after a gas pipeline operated by the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) and Nigeria Agip Oil Company

Residents of Oduoha Community in Emohua Council of Rivers State were thrown into panic after a gas pipeline operated by the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) and Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC) exploded on Tuesday.

The Guardian learned that a gas pipeline that runs through the community to a terminal in Bonny Island had exploded in the community, creating a heavy impact on the environment.

It was also learnt that the vibration and leakage from the scene were still raging yesterday, as the community expressed fear at the development.

Paramount Ruler of Oduoha, Chief Ferdinand Ogbuehi, said the explosion caused serious panic in the community, noting that scores of residents had already fled the locality for safety.

“From around 4:00 a.m. till now, the people have been living in trepidation. The vibration has sent many people relocating from the area. We are not at rest at all. We have not seen this type of thing before. We want the government to come and see what is happening.

“We have announced to the people that nobody should go close to the scene of the incident because we don’t want fire outbreak from the place to destroy our community. We are afraid of going close to the place,” he said.

Also, the Chairman of the Oduoha Community Development Committee (OCDC), Napoleon Ewule, said the community had contacted the companies whose facilities were on the line, adding that they promised to visit the location to ascertain facilities that were affected.

“About 4:12 a.m., we heard an explosion and we initially thought an airplane had crashed in our community. I called the youths and we went there to ascertain what happened.

“As we got there we noticed the explosion. The effect is much. We came back and told our people to avoid the area and we called on NLNG and Agip to find out what happened.”

“The effect is much in the community due to the bad odour and the severe heat. Government and regulatory authorities should come in and stop the leakage,” he said

But as at the time of filing this report, relevant agencies were yet to respond to the incident.