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Monday, September 21, 2020

NNPC: Proof of What Really Happened At The Lagos March Explosion

 NNPC: Proof of What Really Happened At The Lagos March Explosion

Source: BBC

On March 15 2020, a pipeline explosion in Lagos killed 23 people.

Nigeria’s state oil firm NNPC Group said the blast was caused by a truck that hit some gas cylinders. 

It’s a story that absolves NNPC of responsibility. But is this story true?

The blast was so powerful that many people assumed a bomb had gone off.

In an instant, 100,000 square metres of Lagos - schools, homes, businesses - were destroyed.

It hit Soba, a suburb of Lagos, on the morning of Sunday March 15.

At that moment, almost 300 children were gathering for morning mass at Bethlehem Girls College, just across the road.

The next second the school was gone.

Miraculously, none of the girls died in the blast.

But the school’s principal - Sister Henrietta Alokha - was killed as she tried to save her students.

She was one of 23 people killed in this explosion.

Including this newly wed couple, Chisom and Emmanuel Uyamadu, who died along with their unborn child.

It soon became clear that this was not a bomb. It was an explosion on a pipeline operated by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation or NNPC.

They told the press the blast was caused by a truck that hit some gas cylinders stacked near the pipeline.

But #BBCAfricaEye has uncovered evidence that tells a different story.

Of all the videos filmed that day, #BBCAfricaEye found one that was shot in the moments before the explosion.

We found the person who shot this clip & using the metadata from her phone, confirmed it was recorded at 08:51 - five minutes before the blast.

First, it shows that before anything had ignited, there was a major leak of vaporised liquid coming from a single source.

It also gives us a precise location for that leak.

This is the view captured on the girl’s phone.

We see the car park, and the electricity pylon.

And in Google Street View, we can see the roofline of a hostel belonging to the Bethlehem Girls College.

Level 12:

The NNPC said a truck hit gas cylinders at a gas processing plant located near their pipeline.

But satellite imagery taken pre-blast shows there was no gas processing plant here.

And drone footage shot less than 48 hours pre-explosion confirms no gas cylinders were stored here.

Some of the videos filmed among the ruins do show gas cylinders.

But these cylinders are more than eighty metres away from the centre of the explosion.

If they had been thrown this far by the force of the blast, they could not have all landed in the same place.

But the most compelling evidence is in the video itself: we know that this clip was shot at 08:51am, five minutes before the blast.

No gas cylinder can contain enough fuel to sustain a leak at this volume and pressure for so long.

We consulted three specialist engineers - experts in Liquid Petroleum Gas, in petroleum pipeline safety, and in explosion analysis.

All three confirmed that a leak of this intensity could not be coming from gas cylinders.

That expert testimony is corroborated by those who saw the leak with their own eyes.

Not one of them mentioned gas cylinders, or saw a collision.

But four of them, independently, told us the vapour was coming out of the ground.

So if this vapour is not being released by gas cylinders, where is it coming from?

Drone footage shows us that the source of the leak became the centre of the blast crater.

And if we look at satellite imagery taken back in 2009 we see something else.

This is the trench dug to contain the NNPC’s petroleum pipeline.

And that pipeline runs right through the source of the vapour leak.

So what could have caused the pipe to break?

The truck is an Iveco 190/38 that was fully loaded with rock and probably weighed more than 25 tonnes.

It stopped here, on the unsurfaced road, directly above the pipeline.

At this same location, there’s a dip in the land where rainwater has washed out the road’s surface.

And in the days before this blast, it rained enough to soak this area, softening the eroded soil on which a 25 tonne truck was about to stop.




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