BBC Africa Eye revealed that the explosion was caused by too much pressure caused by the weight of a heavily laden truck that rested on NNPC gas pipeline.
New evidence obtained by BBC Africa Eye contradicts the official explanation for the cause of an explosion which killed 23 people and destroyed a girl’s boarding school at Abule-Ado area of Lagos State, Nigeria.
The Voice magazine learnt how the explosion killed 23 persons including the Administrator of the college and some workers of the Bethlehem Girls College and also destroyed over 60 buildings on that Sunday morning on March 15th 2020
In its reaction, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had admitted and claimed that the explosion was caused by a truck which hit a stack of gas cylinders. But residents of the community faulted the claim, alleging that the explosion was caused by a bomb blast.
After its investigative work, the BBC Africa Eye has published a new video evidence which was filmed at the explosion site, five minutes before the blast at Abule-Ado.
The video shows a catastrophic leak of vaporized liquid at the exact location where the NNPC high-pressure petroleum pipeline runs beneath the ground through that area.
The BBC found there was no gas processing plant at the explosion’s epicenter. Moreover, analysis of gas cylinders found at the site after the blast indicates they could not have been at the center of the explosion when it happened.
Three specialist engineers – including experts in LPG gas safety, petroleum pipeline safety, and explosions analysis – who have examined video footage all confirm the huge leak of vaporized liquid could not have come from gas cylinders.
The BBC spoke with eyewitnesses who corroborated this claim. None of them mentioned gas cylinders or saw a collision, but four of them independently said the leak was coming out of the ground beside the heavily laden truck.
The evidence the BBC has uncovered indicates the heavily laden truck stopped on an eroded, unsurfaced road that had been softened by rainwater. This could have pressured the pipeline to breaking point, releasing a cloud of vaporized flammable petroleum product that ignited.
Ambisisi Ambituuni, a petroleum pipeline safety expert, told the BBC the System 2B pipeline network has “been in existence for way over the lifespan of the pipeline. How is it so difficult for the operator to maintain the safety of those pipelines?” he asked.
After watching the film, Ebun Olu Adegboruwa, Human Rights Activist & senior Lawyer says incidences of fire disasters have become commonplace for Lagosians.
Akinbode Oluwafemi, Environmental Rights Activist and Executive Director, Corporate Accountability & Public Participation Africa says:
“My first reaction was that, for the first time, the government should sit down to watch this documentary and set up an independent panel on pipelines explosions in Nigeria and use this as a case study. Lagos State government too needs to start thinking how do we protect the people from these serial explosions.”
The BBC said the NNPC was contacted but it denied the pipeline was inadequately protected, reaffirmed their explanation for the explosion’s cause, and said there was no leakage prior to the explosion.
They also told the BBC that “NNPC pipelines comply with safety and regulatory guidelines” and that they worked closely with the Lagos State Government in providing a N2 billion relief fund for the victims of the explosion”
The Voice magazine will recall how the Lagos State Government presented cheques to families of the 23 deceased victims of the Abule-Ado explosion.
However efforts to cover up the real cause of the blast are being exposed in this video link released by BBC after their investigation. Kindly watch:
Courtesy of BBC Africa Report.