An explosion in Lagos, Nigeria rocked the city to its core. 23 people were killed, and a girls’ boarding school totally destroyed.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the country’s state- owned oil firm, said the blast in March occurred as a result of a truck that hit gas cylinders near one of its petroleum pipelines.
But BBC Africa Eye’s investigation indicates this explanation for the cause of the blast, that decimated over 100,000 square metres of the city, is wrong.
Investigation by #BBCAfricaEye
The documentary portrays the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s (NNPC) claim that the Abule- Ado gas explosion was caused by the collision of a truck with gas cylinders near its petroleum pipelines as false.
A five minutes taken before the blast and aired in the documentary, showed that there was a dangerous leak of vaporised liquid at the exact location where NNPC’s network of high-pressure pipelines run. The video clips were obtained from two different live streams occurring just within the shockwave’s reach.
A deep analysis of gas cylinders found at the site of the blast showed that there was no logical way the cylinders could have been at the site when the explosion occurred. About 14 LPG cylinders were found more than 80 metres away from the explosion’s epicentre, a fair distance away from each other.
Almost all the cylinders were practically undamaged, ruling out the possibility of the blast being caused by gas cylinders. The investigation revealed that the NNPC pipeline was not maintained and protected.
When approached with its findings, the management of NNPC denied complicity and maintained its earlier stand that a truck hit gas cylinders at an LPG shop. The agency which also insisted that the pipelines are strictly compliant with safety and regulatory guidelines, also denied evidence of leakage prior to the explosion.