The explosion that rocked parts of Lagos on Sunday occurred when a truck hit some gas cylinders in the area, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said.
The corporation made this known in a statement by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the NNPC, Kennie Obateru.
At least 15 dead bodies were recovered, as several were reported injured and receiving treatment in the hospital.
Premium Times report states that the NNPC said that the incident occurred after a truck hit some gas cylinders stacked in a gas processing plant located near the corporation’s System 2B Pipeline Right of Way.
As soon as the incident occurred, the corporation said it quickly halted ongoing pumping operations on the Atlas Cove-Mosimi pipeline which was active at the time.
Mr Obateru noted that the temporary shutdown of the critical System 2B pipeline would not affect the supply of petrol across the country.
He disclosed that the NNPC had already mobilized its in-house combined team consisting of health, safety and environment experts, medical and security personnel from its nearby Satellite Depot in Lagos, even as Lagos State Fire Service was also rallied to extinguish the fire.
The statement added that more fire firefighting personnel and equipment were mobilised from the NNPC Mosimi Area Office to provide an extra fillip to the ongoing operation.
According to him, preliminary findings indicated that the impact of the explosion was so huge that it led to the collapse of nearby houses. He disclosed further that the explosion caused damage to the NNPC pipeline.
NNPC boss, Mele Kyari, and other top management of the corporation departed to Lagos Sunday evening for an on-the-spot assessment at the scene of the incident.
“The NNPC Group Managing Director, Mallam Mele Kyari, commiserated with the victims of the incident, praying that God provides them succour at this hour,” the statement said.
While assuring members of the public and residents of the affected communities to remain calm, the NNPC explained that the temporary shutdown of the petroleum products pipeline would not affect the normal supply of products to the Lagos and its environs.
Neither the NNPC nor the fire service and the police have provided a figure on the casualty from the fire.