No fewer than ten people have allegedly been killed in a pipeline explosion in a community in Rivers state.
The explosion was said to have happened on Saturday morning at Komkom community in Oyigbo local government area of the state.
The cause of the explosion, which affected pipelines supplying crude oil to eastern states, could not be ascertained.
Nnamdi Omoni, the state command spokesperson, who confirmed the incident, said the villagers went there to scoop the product before it triggered the explosion. He said he could not ascertain the accurate casualty figure.
“The casualty rate is what we cannot ascertain for now. There has been speculation. We have not been able to get the accurate figure. In the next couple of hours, we will get that because our men are still there, including the area commander, to ensure that there won’t be breach of peace,” he said.
“We have been able to restore normalcy. It was unfortunate that when the pipeline caught fire, the villagers went there to scoop the product and in the process, the fire caught them. Moreover, we have been able to take some to the hospital.
“Engineers from Shell were there for a routine maintenance of the pipelines. So, they were lawfully there to carry out their duty. Unfortunately, by accident or design, there was an explosion, which we have put under control. The fire was put out, but the villagers in their quest to maximize the situation, some of them were consumed by the fire.”
On June 12, five persons were “seriously” injured after an explosion at a shopping mall in Port Harcourt, the state capital.