Tragedy struck in the Ijegun area of Lagos in the early hours on Thursday, July 4, following an outbreak of fire following explosion of a fuel pipeline which was vandalized by thieves.
The accident which occurred along the NNPC pipeline at the Ijegemo end of Ijegun was said to have claimed two lives and left many with severe burns. The victims were immediately rushed to nearby hospitals.
Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, manager, Femi Osanyintolu confirmed that 30 vehicles were burnt beyond recognition, adding that the fire was caused by vandals who broke oil pipeline in order to steal products.
He said, “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. The fire then spread back to the point where the vandals had siphoned the fuel and exploded.”
Osanyintolu also confirmed the recovery of two burnt bodies and rescue of eight others with severe burns. However, a resident of the area who claimed to have witnessed what transpires told the magazine that fire broke out following a gunshot by one of the security officials who swooped on the oil thieves.
The source said the officer fired his gun when his men attempted to use maximum force to arrest the vandals who attempted to escape arrest.