Death toll hits 24 in Abia pipeline inferno

THE police has hinted that more deaths have been recorded following the petroleum pipeline inferno at two villages in Osisioma Ngwa Local Government Area of Abia State.

It was also gathered that no fewer than 24 people died in the fire incident.

Addressing journalists on Monday at his office in Umuahia, the state capital, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Anthony Ogbizi, made this disclosure.

The police chief stressed that the Command has launched an investigation to ascertain why petroleum product was pumped into the pipeline which was said to be undergoing maintenance.

“We can’t give you an accurate number now. On the whole, for now, we can put the death toll at 24,” he added.

Ogbizi further urged families of the victims affected to remain calm and resist the temptation of taking the law into their hands, just as he assured them that the relevant government agencies were already putting measures in place to mitigate the effect of the incident and prevent a reoccurrence of such incident.

A portion of the pipeline had exploded in Umueze community on Friday last week, killing more than 16 people in the process.

It was gathered that the incident occurred when some residents attempted to scoop fuel from a wrecked pipeline.

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