Many Dead As Explosion Rocks Rivers

Adoga Stephen By Adoga Stephen - Editor-In-Chief
3 Min Read

Over 20 people were murdered after an explosion from a vandalized oil pipeline in Omoku, Rivers State‘s Ogba/Egebema/Ndoni Local Government Area.

According to reports, the incident began when the youngsters reportedly destroyed a pipeline owned by one of the international oil companies working in the region.

They were apparently scooping fuel using jerrycans and buckets when the disaster occurred, leaving several people burned beyond recognition.

“I was learnt that many persons suffered varying degrees of burns and were receiving treatment in different hospitals in the area,” an eyewitness told journalists.

“It was a very terrible incident. Imagine the deaths of 20 people in such a time. We leant some youths bust a company pipeline.

“If you go to the General Hospital and other private clinics in Omoku, you will see many of the injured people scattered all over the place in both government and private hospitals taking treatment,” he said.

According to another account, the blaze was caused by suspected oil thieves attempting to light mosquito coils.

“The leakage was from an obsolete pipeline belonging to one of the oil companies operating in the area,” he told DailyTrust.

Emeka Ukwuosah, head of the Niger Delta Youth Movement, ONELGA branch, encouraged youths in the area to participate in useful activities and avoid oil bunkering.

“Let me join in condemning the oil bunkering going on within ONELGA. And we are also calling on the security agencies to be up and doing and check what is happening within that circle,” he said.

“Secondly, we are also calling on the multinationals that own the oil facilities to overhaul their aging facilities to forestall such incidents.”

Emeka Agbabere, Assistant Secretary of the ONELGA Security Peace Advisory Council, a vigilante organization in the area, blamed the tragedy on illicit oil bunkering.

Agbabere stated that a monarch in the region commanded the vigilante group, the Community Development Committee, and the youngsters to put an end to oil bunkering operations.

He was disappointed, however, because despite their repeated calls for the adolescents to quit unlawful bunkering, they remained deafeningly silent.

He said, “We advised them to put a stop to it and this is the aftermath of it. When they busted the pipeline, fire engulfed immediately, and 19 of them died instantly, and about 12 in two different hospitals.”

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By Adoga Stephen Editor-In-Chief
Stephen studied Mass Communication at the Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu (now Lagos State University of Science and Technology), where he acquired requisite training for the practice of journalism. He loves the media, and his interest mostly lies in print medium, where his creative writing skill makes him a perfect fit.