BREAKING: 19 Killed As Explosion Rocks Abia State, Many Feared Injured

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Emerging reports from Abia state suggests that about 19 persons have been killed following an oil pipeline explosion in Osisioma Local Government Area of the state.

According to the Abia State command of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) Friday’s pipeline explosion occurred in two villages within Osisioma.

The state Commander of the organisation, Mr Benito Eze, confirmed the number of casualties to newsmen in Umuahia.

Eze said that 16 persons, including one woman, died in the explosion that occurred around 2.47 a.m at Umuaduru Village in Umueze Autonomous Community.

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He also said that three others died in the fire that occurred at about 3 a.m in a private residence at Umuimo Village in the area.

Narrating the incident, Eze, who said that he visited the scene around 4 a.m., described the incident as unfortunate.

He said that the Umuaduru incident happened when some youths in the area were scooping petroleum products from vandalised pipelines.

He said: “I learnt that they were scooping petroleum products when a spark occurred, leading to an explosion that left 16 natives dead.”

Eze further said that the fire at Umuimo happened when a woman, identified as a food vendor, got up at about 3 a.m. to start cooking for the day’s business.

“I gathered that the family stored petrol in the house and that it caught fire when the woman wanted to set up fire for cooking.

“The fire razed down the whole house but the woman and her husband did not die but managed to escape with burns,” he said.

The civil defence boss said that the couple had been taken to a hospital for medical attention.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) learnt that three military personnel were among the deceased.

Eze, however, declined confirmation, saying that “investigations are still ongoing to ascertain whether they were among or not.”

He said that the command had deployed its personnel to cordon off the scene to forestall more casualties.

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