Paul Obiajunwo, Port Harcourt
There was panic and anxiety yesterday over explosion in an oil facility allegedly to be operated by Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) in Evekwu community, Rumuji Town, Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Although there are confusing reports on what the actual cause of the explosion was, but the incident has caused panic among residents of Evekwu, Rumuji, Rumuodogo and Ibaa communities.
Some of the sources claimed it was as a result of equipment failure while others say it was an accident.
a source said it is not an act of attack by any militant group but an explosion from the gas pipeline in the area.
At press time the operators of the facilities have not visited the area to determine the actual cause of the incident.
But, Chief Ndudirim Amadi, told our correspondent that the incident happened around 2:00pm and was caused by much pressure on the pipeline.
Amadi noted that the facility is high pressure pipeline between Rumuji and Evekwu communities operated LNG and marked keep off.
He said the pipeline exploded on its own because of high pressure which could no longer be contained by the facility.
Amadi said: “I don’t know what cause it. But I think the pressure was much on the pipe that was why it exploded. It has cause fear in our community. The force which the crude is coming out of the pipe shows that it was an act of pressure.”
Another source alleged that a company which he identified as Integrated Data Services Limited, a subsidiary of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, was on operation around the facility before the incident occurred.
The source alleged that the IDSL which uses explosives like dynamite and grenades in its operations was at work around the area as at the time of the incident.
It said vibration from the explosion that was detonated by IDSL had caused the accident and that the crude flowed uncontrollably.
When contacted the Rivers State Police Command said it was not aware of the incident, but promised to reach our correspondent when detailed.