The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) depot in Pogo Minna, Niger State, yesterday went up in flames as a result of broken pipes.
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 failed.
The fuel reportedly 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.
A resident in the area, Mallam Abdul Baba Mohammed, disclosed to journalists 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,” he said.
The Director General, Niger State Emergency Agency (NSEMA), Ahmed Ibrahim Inga, while speaking with Journalists, said, “We thank God everything has returned to normal.”
According to him, “there are no casualties, for now, we are just trying to see that the fire goes down totally and then our men will go round to access what the situation is.
“The scooping of fuel by hoodlums actually took place in the tank farm where the leakage started from but not as a result of bunkering”.