NNPC points to RoW violations for explosion, as fingers point to Indomie noodles seller

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* Stops pumping fuel at Atlas Cove

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) thinks Right of Way (RoW) encroachment may be reason for the pipeline explosion that has so far accounted for 20 deaths and hundreds of injuries plus billions of naira losses. The Corporation also mentioned gas handling vendors, construction works and houses, etc along the RoW as implicated causes, and talked about plans to begin clearing the way.

According to the statement that was signed by Dr Kennie Obateru, the Group General Manager in charge of NNPC’s public relations, the catastrophe was caused by a gas explosion. It also stated that preliminary investigations revealed that a truck had rammed into some cylinders that were stacked in the gas processing plant that was located close to the NNPC’s system 2B Pipeline Right of Way.

These explanations by the NNPC and its GGD have confirmed initial reports that linked the deadly explosion to gas leakage. A video on Twitter even shows how gas kept leaking and infiltrating the air around the Abule Ado area, long before the blast.

According to residents, a very dumb mallam that sells noodles left his gas cooker on and this may have caused the explosion.

Following the explosion, the NNPC said it had quickly stopped pumping operations in its Atlas Cove-Mosimi pipeline which runs through the affected Abule Ado area. The company also said that it mobilised some of the key staff from its Satellite Depot (including health safety experts, medical personnel, and security personnel) to assist with relief efforts.

The temporary shutdown of the NNPC’s Atlas Cove-Mosimi pipeline will not affect the supply of petroleum products to Lagos and its environs, the statement from the company assured.

The statement also appealed for calm, whilst commiserating with the victims and their families.