An unconfirmed number of people have been killed in a fire outbreak from an oil pipeline along the Osisioma axis near Aba.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), which reported the incident on Friday, said the inferno occurred near Aba Depot in its System 2E pipeline network.
According to the corporation, the incident might have been caused by suspected oil thieves who had hacked into the line to intercept flow of petrol from Port Harcourt to Aba.
Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, confirmed fatalities and loss of properties in the inferno.
Ughamadu said the corporation’s safety experts, along with men of the Abia State Fire Service, had swung into action to contain the situation, saying updates on the situation would be provided as events unfold.
NNPC Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, expressed shock at the wanton willful destruction of lives and properties occasioned by the incident.
Baru prayed that God reposes the souls of the innocent ones that perished in the incident, even as he warned members of the public against tempering with oil and gas facilities many of which he said were inflammable.
He called on host communities to create avenues to moderate criminal tendencies of a few bad eggs living among them.