No fewer than 19 people were yesterday feared dead following an explosion that occurred at the Osisioma, Abia State axis of the petroleum products pipeline belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Eye witness account said that the explosion happened in the early hours of Friday and the victims included a nursing mother, three soldiers and dozens of others who were all burnt to death.
Several others were said to have sustained various degrees of burns and were rushed to hospitals where medical personnel were battling to save their lives.
The explosion was said to have occurred when NNPC pumped products through old and abandoned pipelines which security agencies understood were no longer used to transport products.
The state commandant of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Benito Eze confirmed that 19 burnt bodies were recovered by his men at the scene of the incident.
Abia State Police Command spokesman, Mr. Geoffrey Ogbonna said that the state command was aware of the ugly incident but added that he didn’t have details of what actually happened and the number of casualties.
He said that it was unfortunate that people did not heed the warning by police that people should not scoop petroleum products from ruptured pipelines because of the very high risk to life and property when explosion occurs.
There was great wailing at the scene as village folks trooped out to identify their loved ones who died in the fire incident. The identified bodies were quickly evacuated by relatives.
SOURCE :sahara reporters (news)