The fear of explosion has gripped residents of Eneka Community in Obio-Akpor local government area of Rivers State because of the ruptured petroleum products high-pressure pipeline belonging to Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, which was gushing out products on Friday.
A suspected case of pipeline vandalism occurred in a location near the Army shooting range, in an area popularly called Shell Pipeline in Eneka community.
Shell officials, security operatives Eneka community leaders were on ground before the ruptured Pipeline was turned off.
According to bewildered residents, they said they initially observed smoke in the skyline accompanied by the sound of gushing water about 2.am on Friday, November 29.
“At about 2.am we noticed that there was smoke and sound that sounded as if water gushing upwards.
“Two days ago, we had movements of people on foot passing. We thought that they were surveillance security men patrolling in the night. We were scared to come out until it was dawn”.
Also, the Community Development Committee, CDC, Chairman of Eneka, Bestman Worlu, called on Shell to move fast avert a looming disaster in the community by stopping the eruption that could cause an explosion.
“I received a call from members of my community that was an eruption and massive spillage that already damaging crops and Properties in the community. When I heard it, I put a call across to relevant stakeholders. We’ll find out if the eruption was caused by system failure or vandalism.”
On his part, the South-South Coordinator of National Oil Spill Detection Response Agency, NOSDRA, Cyrus Nkangwung, who had arrived the scene with members of his team at the scene, assured that there will be a joint investigation inspection by all stakeholders, including members of Eneka Community to ascertain the immediate and remote cause of the eruption and spillage.
He pointed out that preliminary findings tend to point to the handiwork of suspected crude oil Vandals as their tools or trade for rupturing Pipelines were abandoned in the bush within the vicinity of the ruptured Pipeline.
However, he assured that Shell was already contacted to contain the spillage and later clean up the spill impacted sites.
On his part, the Chief Security officer of the Community, Mr Oscar Weli, called on Shell to involve the local Vigilantes to secure the pipelines.
In July 2019, over 48 dead bodies out of over 100 persons consumed in an inferno caused by vandalization of Pipeline by suspected oil thieves were recovered at the site of Pipeline explosion in Konkon community in Oyigbo local government area of Rivers state