FG Links Suspected Volcanic Eruption to Leakage of Current on High Tension Wire

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By Kasim Sumaina in Abuja 

The federal government yesterday revealed that the erupted hot molten material suspected to be volcanic magma around Katampe, Abuja on October 3, was not volcanic, but a high leakage of current that melted a 33 Kilo-volt-ampere (KVA) high tension power line.

The government, through the Director-General, Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA), Alex Nwegbu, adduced that what occurred at the community was as a result of an “In-Situ Vitrification of foundation materials used in supporting the 33 Kilo-volt-ampere (KVA) high transmission line.

Nwegbu, who stated this during a press briefing in Abuja, said the currents generated so much temperature to the range of between 1000 and 2000 degree centigrade, which was high enough to melt the material upon which the electric pole was seated.

The DG explained that preliminary measurements, readings and inspection by the technical team of the NGSA indicated a very limited localised event with no foreseeable harm to the public.

According to him, “The result of our investigation shows clearly that it was not a volcanic activity. The high tension leaked currents through the rods used in the construction of the electric pole and it generated so much temperature to the range of between 1600 and 2000 degree centigrade which was high enough to melt the material upon which the pole was founded.”

 Nwegbu added that the combustion at the surface was caused by the oxygen in the air, which thereafter cooled rapidly to form a monolithic and chemically inert vitreous slag.

 He further revealed that the discharged molten material emanated at the foot of a short-circuited pole conveying a 33KVA transmission line.

 The effect of the heat, he said, dislodged the foundation of the electric pole causing it to tilt.

“This ensuing high temperature caused the vitrification of the In-Situ material at the base of the electric pole to become pyrolysed into a molten mass, which increased in size and fluidity and eventually found a weak route of escape to the surface,” he added.