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Gas pipeline explosion rocks Rivers community

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Port Harcourt — A gas pipeline on Wednesday, exploded in Oduoha community, Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State, creating heavy impact on the environment and causing residents to desert the community for safety.

The cause of the explosion is yet to be ascertained, but our correspondent gathered that many pipelines run through the community to Bonny terminal.

Two separate gas pipelines operated by Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas Limited, NLNG and Nigeria Agip Oil Company, NAOC, runs on the same line where the incident happened, making it difficult to ascertain the operator of the affected line.

As at 4pm on Wednesday, the vibration, leakage, fume, smell and pepperish heat from the pipeline was still raging as the community panic over the development.

Meanwhile, the Paramount Ruler of Oduoha community, HRH Chief Ferdinand Ogbuehi, said the explosion began about 4am on Wednesday, causing panic in the community, as many residents have already fled for safety.

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The monarch called on all relevant authorities to come to the aide of the community, as he feared the explosion could trigger fire outbreak.

“From 4am till now the people have been living in fear. The vibration has sent many packing. We are not at rest at all. We have not seen this type of thing before. We want the Government to come and see what is happening.

“We have announced to the people that no body should go there. We don’t want fire outbreak from that place to destroy our community. We want the Government to come. We are afraid going closer to the place.”

Also, the Community Development Committee Chairman of Oduoha, Napoleon Ewule, said the community has contacted NLNG and NAOC whose facilities are in the affected area, and the companies have assured a visit to the facilities.

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“About 4:12am, we heard an explosion. We were thinking that aeroplane has crashed in our community.

“I called on the youths and we went there to see what happened. As we got there we noticed the explosion. The effect is much. We came back and told our people to avoid the area. We called on NLNG to find out what is happening.

“We have two pipelines there one for Agip and another for NLNG. When they come for inspection we will know who owns the one that exploded.

“The effect is much in the community now. The smell and the pepperish heat. The Government should come in and stop the leakage.”

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