The incident occurred on Friday, 1st of March, 2019, and the blast caused a massive oil spill. At least 50 people are considered missing but according to some sources, all of them are dead.
Still, it is not clarified whether the pipeline has shut down. The line is used to transport oil to Bonny export terminal and is operated by Port Harcourt-based Aiteo Group, a large energy company in Nigeria. No official member of the company has made a comment on the failure yet.
Surprisingly, the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) stated that no record of pipeline explosion in the aforementioned area was reported. ”I have cross-checked with our downstream unit that manages our pipeline and they said that they didn’t have such records,” Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, the Group General Manager, stated.
A video recorded by local villagers shows the large explosion (click the link below to watch the footage). “If they turn off the oil well from the station, the pressure inside the pipeline would reduce, causing the flame to burn out,” someone explains.
It is not the first time such a disastrous incident occurs in Nigeria. About 2 months ago, an overthrown oil tank exploded when people were cleaning the leakage. According to police officials, 12 people died due to the explosion.
Moreover, numerous people have died risking their lives to collect leaking fuel from pipelines.