Chiemelie Ezeobi

Hours after the massive pipeline explosion that rocked Ilara community near Ogijo in Ogun State was put out, THISDAY gathered that casualty figure remains uncertain.

The fire which started at about 10pm on Sunday night raged all through the night unhindered, gutting everything on its path.

The fire was finally put out late Monday evening by concerted efforts of the firefighters, who battled the massive inferno for hours.

The damage caused by the inferno could not be ascertained because it was already dark. But THISDAY gathered that the fire gutted a large expanse of farmland, a major source of livelihood for the community.

As at 3am Monday when THISDAY exclusively reported the pipeline explosion, residents of the community were fleeing as the explosion rocked the area.

THISDAY had reported that the explosion was from a vandalised pipeline that was not attended to for days.

According to sources, the pipeline was vandalised sometime last week and the valve was left open with product gushing out unhindered.

Sources claimed that the community did not report the case as they should have until the vandalised part exploded and spread to a large expanse of farmland and residential buildings.

Following the explosion, the commiunity contacted the Commander, 174 Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Benedict Ezeh, who called the NNPC area manager at Mosimi Depot to shut down the pipeline immediately.