A gas explosion from a pipeline operated by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) and Oando PLC has occurred in Omoku town in Ogba/ Egbema/Ndoni ocal council of Rivers State.
The event happened at the weekend near Grace Orphanage Home, along Egbema Road in Omoku town.
The real cause of the explosion is yet unknown but it suspected to have occurred from equipment failure.
The Egbema Voice of Freedom (EVF), a community based organization in the area which reported the incident, stated that the broken gas pipeline had yet to be clamped, increasing concerns about a possible firestorm in the area.
Pastor Nicholas, the leader of EVF, stated that the pipelines were obsolete and needed to be replaced immediately.
“The ruptured pipeline is still not clamped by Agip or Oando as we speak, there are petrol fumes in the air,” he claimed.
The corrosion triggered the pipeline explosion; no casualties have been reported thus far; nonetheless, the pipeline is operated by Nigerian Agip Oil Company.
“These pipelines are old; they were laid since the early 1960s when Agip came to ONELGA,” he said.
An eyewitness, Bright Abali, called on NAOC and Oando PLC to fix the leaking pipeline before it caused inferno in the community.
He said: “NAOC’s refusal to replace and maintain their obsolete facilities has denied the youth of ONELGA the required employment, which such project will create for their host communities.
“Gas eruption is a regular occurrence along Agip pipelines, particularly inside the forest areas due to obsolete pipelines. The company has refused to change their old facilities used over decades.
“NAOC exploration impact has caused unquantifiable damages to the environment, health and general life of the people of Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni Local Government of Rivers State and these unfriendly exploration practices must stop.”