Niger Delta: Massive explosion leaves Ughelli residents in shock

A devastating explosion that rocked a pipeline belonging to the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) yesterday left residents of Ughelli, in Delta State, in shock.

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Though initial investigation indicate that the explosion was as a result of a fault, some community sources said it was as a result of an attack by suspected militants.

“Yes, there was a huge explosion on a pipeline known as Abura line operated by NPDC at about 7.45 pm, but we are not sure whether it was bombed or a fault,” a community source disclosed.

A military source, however, hinted that the Joint Task Force (JTF), code named Operation Delta Safe, has launched investigations to unravel the circumstances surrounding the explosion on the pipeline.

It was gathered that the Commanding Officer 222 Battalion, Agbaraha-Otor, Lt. Col U. S. Abdulsalam, the Ughelli South Division Police Officer, Oghenedoro Samuel and heads of other security agencies in the area had visited the scene of the explosion.

As at the time of their visit, it was confirmed that fire fighters had succeeded in putting off the fire.

An undercover agent said last night that investigations had commenced on the blast and that the picture of the incident will become clearer today.

Coordinator of the Joint Media Campaign Centre of JTF, Lieutenant Colonel Olaolu Marcellinus Daudu could not confirm the incident, as he said he was attending a conference.

The Acting Spokesman, Lieutenant Commander Thomas Otuji, on his part, confirmed the incident, but ruled out an attack on the pipeline.

Meanwhile, by yesterday, the Isoko/Urhobo militant group, Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate, (NDGJM), noted for series of attacks in that axis of the state, is yet to claim responsibility

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