The soldier identified as Nnaemeka Evoh aka Vulture was among the 24 people said to have so far been confirmed dead in the Friday morning explosion that occurred at the Osisioma, Abia State axis of the petroleum products pipeline belonging to NNPC.
According to Kelvin who shared the news on Facebook, the victim just returned from the north after spending years fighting Boko Haram insurgents. He wrote;
‘What a tragedy and agony ?My great warrior is gone,you have been in battle with Boko Haram all this years, you visited home with songs of victory thanking God who have been with you. Am mute nd speechless over your departure, have no right to question the almighty God. He gives and at the due time he has received ur soul bk. God 9t De Nnaemeka .bye bye my warrior’
Eyewitness account said that the explosion happened in the early hours of Friday and the victims included a nursing mother, three soldiers and dozens of others who were all burnt to death.
Several others were said to have sustained various degrees of burns and were rushed to hospitals where medical personnel are battling to save their lives.
The explosion was said to have occurred when NNPC pumped products through old and abandoned pipelines, which security agencies understood were no longer used to transport products.
Abia State Police Command spokesman, Geoffrey Ogbonna, said that it was unfortunate that people did not heed the warning by police that people should not scoop petroleum products from ruptured pipelines because of the very high risk to life and property when explosion occurs.
Like in past incidents, the pipeline fire was said to have been caused by pipeline vandals who, in the process of scooping petroleum products from the damaged pipeline, sparked the fire.