Two persons have been killed and dozens of vehicles burnt on Thursday morning after thieves breached a petrol pipeline at Ijegun, a suburb of Lagos causing an explosion.
According to emergency workers, the incident, which happened in the early hours of Thursday morning, 4 July 2019, is the latest in a long string of such accidents.
“We have recovered two burnt bodies and rescued eight others with severe burns,” the head of Lagos State Emergency Mangement Agency (LASEMA), Femi Osanyintolu, told journalists.
He said that more than 30 vehicles caught fire and that the inferno was caused by vandals who broke open a state-run pipeline in order to steal petrol.
He disclosed that security agents intercepted the thieves as they were transferring the petrol to their trucks.
“In a bid to escape arrest, the vandals spilled some of the petrol into drainages and set it on fire,” he said.
“The fire then spread back to the point where the vandals had siphoned the fuel and exploded,” he said.
Osanyintolu said firefighters were battling to put out the inferno, adding that the toll might rise further.
The report by Nigeria’s Channels Television quoted Ibrahim Farinloye, the spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), as saying that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), which owns the pipeline, had been informed.
“Vandals are responsible for the incident and some of them are affected in the inferno,” he said, adding that the area had been cordoned off and that the NNPC had been requested to shut down the pipeline to cut off the fire.