President Muhammadu Buhari has condoled with people and government of Rivers following the death of some workers in gas pipeline tragedy in the state.
The president, in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu in Abuja on Saturday, also condoled with the families of the victims.
President Buhari said he was extremely pained by the loss of lives as a result of the incident.
He, therefore, asked for “a thorough investigation to determine what is responsible for the gas pipeline tragedy in Oyibo Local Government Area of Rivers in which several fatalities were reported”.
While some sources within the area said the exploded pipeline belonged to Shell Petroleum Development Company, others expressed the belief that the facility was the property of the Petroleum Product Marketing Company.
It was also gathered that the explosion occurred when some workers from a yet to be identified firm were working on one of the pipelines.
A resident of the area, who identified himself as Jude, stated that the loud sound of the explosion jolted most residents of the community, even as he said that 10 persons lost their lives in the incident.
He explained that people immediately began to panic at the sound of the explosion.
“It was around 8am when we heard a loud explosion. Most of the residents were still in their houses when the loud explosion occurred.
“I woke and gathered all my family members together before we moved out of the house. As we were moving out, I saw smoke coming out of the pipeline not very far from my house.
“I saw many persons running out of their houses. I did not exactly know what was happening. We just heard a loud explosion, which was followed with billows of smoke.
“It was later that I learnt that the explosion occurred in one of the pipelines. I suspected it was fuel pipeline and that more than 10 persons lost their lives in the incident,” he said.