Residents escape Rivers as a gas pipeline ruptures, sparking widespread panic

Many inhabitants of Omoku Town in Rivers State’s Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area have evacuated their houses, fearing that a pipeline that ruptured in the area on Friday might explode into flames.

It was gathered that there was leakage on a gas pipeline in Omoku town beside Grace Orphanage Home, off Egbada Road in Omoku main town reportedly operated by Nigerian Agip Oil Company, NAOC.

The rupture on the gas pipeline was alleged to have been as a result of equipment failure, as the facility was installed in the 60s.

Speaking on the development, the Leader of Egbema Voice of Freedom, Pastor Evaristus Nicholas, said the pipelines were obsolete and should be replaced immediately.

He said: “The ruptured pipeline is yet to be clamped by Agip or Oando as we speak. Gas fumes are in the air. The pipeline explosion was caused by corrosion, no casualty has been recorded so far but the pipeline is operated by Nigerian Agip Oil Company.

“These pipelines are old, they were laid since the early 60s when Agip came to Onelga.

“Now that Oando Plc has acquired Agip, Oando should start thinking of replacing these obsolete pipelines with new ones, otherwise more explosions like these will be recorded.”

A chief in the area, who resides in the area, Chief Bright Abali, called on NAOC and Oando Plc to immediately fix the ruptured pipeline to prevent a possible explosion and loss of lives in the area.

Abali said: “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 LGA of Rivers State and these unfriendly exploration practices must stop.”

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