Tragedy was averted in Minna, yesterday, as social miscreants defied all entreaties not to scoop fuel from broken pipes at Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) depot in Pogo Minna, Niger State, which later went up in flames.
It was gathered that some black marketers stormed the area and started scooping fuel from the leaking pipes that were first noticed Saturday night and all attempts to keep the miscreants away from scooping failed.
An eyewitness said the fuel caught fire at about 11 am yesterday , which affected traffic along the Minna-Suleja road leaving commuters stranded.
No loss of life was, however, recorded as security Agents including the Police, Civil Defence and Niger State Emergency Agency, (NSEMA) were all on the ground.
One of the staff of the Depot told our source: “we have been on the ground since yesterday the leakage started but despite our presence and vigilance, these desperate miscreants or black marketers eventually caused the fire outbreak as they still sneaked to the gutters to start scooping.”
“However, we were able to dislodge them from the scene later and this eventually saved the situation from getting out of control and also averted casualties.”
A resident in the area, Mallam Abdul Baba Mohammed, disclosed that when the leakage started Saturday night, it ran through the gutters which later attracted the black marketers, who started scooping.
“Despite the presence of security men including Police and Civil Defence among others, the boys refused to stop and the fire eventually started but the prompt arrival of the state fire service to the scene saved the situation from totally going out of hand.”
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