Ten persons have lost their lives following an early morning pipeline explosion at Kom Kom area of Oyigbo Local Government Area of Rivers State, while a number of others reportedly sustained injuries. The pipeline, which supplies petroleum products to Aba and Enugu, and owned by the Petroleum Product Marketing Company (PPMC) exploded and burst into flame in the early hours of yesterday, forcing some residents to flee their homes.
The cause of the explosion had not been ascertained as of the time of filing this report, but an eyewitness said that the fire destroyed some properties in the area while residents hurriedly fled to safer places.
The local government Chairman, Gerald Oforji, who confirmed the story to reporters at Oyigbo, said that 10 persons have been confirmed dead. The Rivers State Police Command has also confirmed the death of some residents, but did not state the number.
The Command’s spokesman, Nnamdi Omoni in a telephone chat noted that it has been confirmed that some persons had died, but declined to give a specific figure.
The lawmaker representing Oyigbo State Constituency in the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Promise Nwankwo called on federal and state fire services to come quickly to the scene and stop the fire from spreading to other areas. Komkom, a community outside of Port Harcourt, but closer to neighbouring Abia State, apart from being a major train station in Rivers also boast of petroleum pipelines that pass through its swamps and rivers.