As Kalu commiserates with Abians
The death toll from Friday’s oil pipeline explosion in two Abia communities in Osisioma Local Government Area of the state has risen to 24, the Commissioner of Police, Mr Anthony Ogbizi, has said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mr Benito Eze, the state Commander of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, confirmed to newsmen on Friday that 19 persons, including a nursing mother, died on the spot.
Briefing newsmen in Umuahia on Saturday after visiting the scene of the explosion, Ogbizi said that the number of deaths had risen to 24.
“When we visited the two communities on Saturday, we were informed that 14 people were reported dead at Umuimo village, while 10 died at Umuaduru.
“Some of the victims who sustained various degrees of burns were said to be asleep when the incident occurred.
“They were said to have been taken to nearby hospitals and traditional medicine homes for treatment,” he said.
The police boss said that management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Aba depot blamed the explosion on a spillage from a pipeline that was undergoing maintenance.
And Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, has visited Umuaduru and Umuimo villages in Osisioma Ngwa Local Government Area after the pipeline explosion.
In a release by his Chief Press Secretary, Enyinnaya Appolos, the governor directed the Commissioner for Petroleum Resources, Hon. Chizurum Kanu to immediately inaugurate a Commission of Inquiry to unravel the immediate and remote causes of the pipeline explosion that affected two communities and led to loss of lives.
The governor, who visited the affected communities earlier yesterday, described the incident as disheartening and unfortunate.
He commiserated with the families of those who lost their lives as a result of the pipeline explosion and prayed God to give them the fortitude to bear the loss.
Meanwhile, former Governor of Abia State and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Orji Kalu has expressed shock over the pipeline fire at Osisioma in Abia State.
No fewer than 19 people were feared dead following the explosion that occurred at the Osisioma axis of the petroleum products pipeline belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in the early hours of Friday.
In a statement signed by his Special Adviser, Kunle Oyewumi, Kalu commiserated with the government and people of Abia State.
He said: “I received with pain the sad news of the fire incident in Osisioma. Appropriate authorities must rise up to their responsibilities to forestall future recurrence. “We must individually and collectively provide succour to the affected families.
“I condole with the families of the deceased and wish the victims hospitalised speedy recovery.”
Kalu prayed to God to grant the departed souls eternal rest and give their families the fortitude to bear the sad losses.
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