Suspected pipeline vandals were Thursday feared killed when a massive fire started at a petroleum pipeline belonging to Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) at Ijedodo area of Lagos State, although sources revealed that there was no casualty.
Some suspected pipeline vandals had besieged the pipeline around 6pm and were said to be scooping petroleum product into jerry cans when an argument started among them, making one of them ignite the fire that caused a massive explosion, Vanguard reports.
Following the inferno, the Baale of Ijeododo Community, Alhaji Tajudeen Subair-Ododo, has called on the Federal Government to improve security around its pipelines in the community.
Subair-Ododo said the only way to curb incessant pipeline vandalism around the community is through round-the-clock monitoring of the pipeline network.
According to him, vandals often used the opportunity of the absence of any security presence to perpetuate their criminal acts in the area.
He told the News Agency of Nigeria that the explosion was caused by the activities of pipeline vandals, who have continuously vandalised the pipelines in the community.
Spokesman of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr Ibrahim Farinloye also confirmed that the explosion was caused by vandals.
He however said that no causality was recorded, adding that the agency will visit the scene on Friday to ascertain the level of damage from the explosion.
The NNPC had since shut down supply to ensure the fire stops.
“NNPC authorities have switched off the valves to stop further supply to the system and to suffocate the fire, to enable fire fighters battle the fire,” he said.