Pipeline explosion: NOSDRA orders clean-up of polluted site in Oyigbo
By Dennis Essang, Port Harcourt
The Nigeria Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) has ordered immediate clean- up of the site pipeline explosion in Komkom Community, in Oyigbo local government area of Rivers state, for the restoration of the environment.
Zonal head of NOSDRA in Port Harcourt, Mr. Cyrus Nkangwung, who made this known to journalists in Port Harcourt said the decision followed a joint investigation visit to investigate the cause of the pipeline fire.
Nkangwung also said that about 16,000 litres of petrol was spilled, while over 21, 000 hectares of land impacted during the incident which, claims over 40 lives. He said that investigation revealed that the explosion was caused by oil thieves, who installed a valve to divert petrol to their tank.
The NOSDRA boss said, “At the end of investigation, we discovered that the cause of spill is sabotage. A two-inch pipe was discovered to be on top of the pipeline. The centre of the pipeline by a third party.
“What the team agreed was that due to pressure from the Premium Motoring Spirit (SMS) that was passing through the line, the installed valve failed. That was what caused the spill into the environment. Because, after the investigation, 200 barrels of the PMS was spilled into the environment, which is about 15, 900 litres and the area of impact is 20.25 hectares”.
He said investigation also revealed that the explosion was triggered by a gunshot from a policeman, which was aimed at dispersing a crowd from scooping the spill oil.
“People started scooping until a point where the fire incident occurred. That was what we gathered because we were not there. The second source was that maybe, somebody was holding a phone and as he called, the explosion occurred. But l think most of the security report suggests the gunshot as the cause”, he said.