Confusion as Explosion Rocks NPDC Pipeline in Delta

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*No Group Claim Responsibility
By Sylvester Idowu in Warri
There was confusion in parts of Ughelli in Delta State on Sunday as an explosion rocked a pipeline belonging to Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC).

Though security operatives believed that the explosion was as a result of a fault, some community sources thought it was an attack by suspected militants.

“Yes, there was a huge explosion on a pipeline known as Abura line at about 7.45 p.m operated by NPDC but we are not sure whether it was bombed or a fault”, a community source disclosed. A military source however confided in THISDAY 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, Agbarha-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, THISDAY learnt, fire fighters had succeeded in putting out the attendant fire. THISDAY however observed that the Isoko/Urhobo militant group, Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate, (NDGJM) noted for a series of attacks in that axis of the state is yet to claim responsibility.

An undercover agent said tonight that investigations had commenced on the blast and that the picture of the incident will become clearer this Monday. 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 however confirmed the incident but ruled out an attack on the pipeline.