Almost 100 residents and indigenes of Umu Nwankwo, Umuimo Njiko Umunna and Umuaduru communities in Osisioma LGA of Abia State, were roasted, today, while scooping fuel from an NNPC pipeline that passed through the area.
Some army officials, who were also their to scoop fuel, were said to have caused the explosion. According to a source, “information came yesterday at about 3pm that there will be pumping of fuel in the old pipeline.
The people were fully informed that there will be fuel passage through the pipe. That was why a lot of people who got the information went into the market to purchase empty jerry cans and by midnight they set out to various points where they had already marked to scoop the fuel from.
If you look round, you will see that they all came with plastic materials and wheelbarrows which they will use to take the fuel back to their various houses. .
They are aware of the dangers of using iron materials around the pipeline, that was why they prepared ahead of time to come with torch and other materials.
I was not there, but someone who was lucky to have escaped from the inferno told people that the explosion was due to the heat from the machines that the soldiers came with.
The army authority should ask its men what they were doing there at that point in time. While they should also ask the people in-charge of pumping product at the Osisioma depot why they should pump fuel in an old line that is no longer in use? .
For me, this is a clear sabotage to the economy of the country and a planned deal with someone in NNPC because the information was that, the people already knew that the product would be on that line at that particular time of the night.”
TheNation reports that soldiers barred people from having access to the scene of the incident until they retrieved a rifle suspected to belong to one of them.