No fewer than three persons including a boy were burnt to death on Sunday, in Lagos by the oil pipeline fire that engulfed the Abule Egba area of the state.
Several others who sustained various degrees of injuries have been rushed to an undisclosed hospital for medical attention.
Many residential houses and vehicles mostly trailers parked along the pipeline area were also burnt by the wild fire which was reportedly caused by the activities of the vandals who were stealing fuel from the government-owned pipeline.
This incident was not the first in the area as a similar one happened at a nearby Awori community just last year and a preceding one which left hundreds of residents dead in 2009.
It was, however confirmed that three people were lost to the current fire. Two of them, male residents were said to have just returned from a trip and were sleeping inside their trailers when the fire caught up with them.
The boy among them was in one of the nearby shops sleeping with his parents but reportedly ran for safety when the fire caught up with him and killed him.
All the three dead bodies were seen kept inside a Lagos State Emergency Health Service pick-up van at exactly 12:15 a.m. to be deposited at the morgue.
Tribune Online correspondent at the scene of the incident counted more than 10 houses along the pipeline and linking Ahmed Sodiq Street including houses No 4 and 8 jumping No 6 as well as more than eight trailers – some with containers, that got burnt by the fire, many of them to rubble.
As of 1.20 a.m., fire fighters were still battling to quench the remaining raging fire.
The major fire on the pipeline right from the hole dug to steal the fuel down to the adjoining Ahmed Sodiq Street, had, however, been put out.
Nevertheless, fire fighter officials from both the Federal and Lagos State government fire service were still at the scene of the incident.
Members of police force and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) as well as the Lagos State Emergency Management Authority ( LASEMA) were also on ground.
Many of them refused to be quoted by when interrogated as their seniors who had earlier got to the scene had left.
Even a senior official from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC), owner of the pipeline, on ground also refused to speak when approached for comments.
The tall man who it was learnt is in charge of the Southwest zone of the corporation, said “I just arrived and I am not for journalists for now.”
After then, he led a team to inspect damage done to the pipelines by the vandals.
However, one of the fire fighters from the Federal Fire Service from Apapa, a distance of about 20 kilometres apart, Mr Okon Udoh, said his team and other colleagues from the state government would keep vigil at the scene to prevent the fire from spreading if ignited again.
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