Following the explosion of a fuel pipeline in Rumuekpe hamlet in Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State, several people are said to be dead.
The incident on Thursday, October 21 has been blamed on oil bunkering activities, according to community sources. Youths in the community were fond of leaking petroleum products from many pipelines located on the stretch of the adjourning villages within the community, according to community sources.
Mr Chikwem Godwin, a neighbourhood resident, claims that more than 20 people may have been killed as a result of the event.
“I can confirm to you that more than 20 persons died in that very incident.
“That particular place where this incident occurred is very notorious for bunkering activities. Youths from various communities gather there to carry out criminal activities of cutting oil pipes.
“The place is the centre of oil bunkering activities. There are so many oil , petrol and gas pipeline that crisscross the community. The pipelines are owned by some multi national oil companies.
“NLNG also have their gas pipeline crisscross along the stretch of the community. Those involved in this criminal activities may have ruptured petrol pipeline which ignited fire and burnt to death so many persons. This incident may have affected many families from all the neighboring communities as many youths involved in this nefarious activities comes from different community.”
Another Rumuekpe resident, Amadi, said he witnessed five bodies that were burned beyond recognition.
SP Nnmadi Omoni, the Public Relations Officer for the Rivers State Police Command, acknowledged the report but said he had not yet determined the number of dead.