- The fire which started nine days ago around the environs of the Caritas University in the Amorji-Nike area of Enugu state has stopped
- The deputy vice-chancellor of the institution said that the fire which lasted for nine days stopped mysteriously
- Michael Oji said the incident occurred when a borehole was being drilled and suddenly noticed unusual gas leakage
Authorities of Caritas University, Amorji-Nike, Enugu on Wednesday, June 22, said that the fire which emanated from a gas leak at the premises of the institution has stopped mysteriously.
The gas leak, which ignited the fire that caused panic among residents of the area has also stopped.
Speaking on the incident, the deputy vice-chancellor of the university, Professor Michael Uchenna Oji, who confirmed the development during a visit to the site said the fire stopped on its own after several weeks of efforts by experts and relevant government agencies to put out the fire.
He said the incident occurred when a borehole was being drilled and suddenly noticed unusual gas leakage, which forced the contractors to pull out their drilling rig and thereafter fire sprouted out of the place, defying all measures to quench it until it passed out on its own accord 21-days after.
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Professor Orji confirmed that no fatality was recorded as a result of the incident and commended relevant government agencies, including the state government for working hard to ensure that the fire was contained.
“Every human effort to put off the light could not stop it, while we were still brainstorming, it was reported that the fire went off on its own."
In a speech, the governor of Enugu state, represented by the commissioner for works, Greg Nnaji, said the government moved in immediately after it got a report of the fire and ensured the lives and property of the citizens were protected.
Giving an expert view on the situation, the executive director, Nigerian Petroleum Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) Gbenga Komolafe, represented by the southeast director of the agency, Eronense Amadasu said the well had been properly secured while samples had been collected for further investigations to ascertain the volume of a hydrocarbon deposit in the area.
He explained that on receipt of the report, NUPRC alongside other related agencies immediately carried out an investigation and discovered that the incident happened in the process of drilling a water well.
Komolafe equally confirmed that there was no pipeline right of way in the area and that the incident was caused by the activities of some contractors, who were drilling a water borehole in the premises of the University.
“The well is properly secured now. There is need for further investigation. In fact, samples have been collected for further analysis and investigations to get more data for proper analysis."
Several efforts of the state and Federal Fire Service, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), and other experts to put off the fire failed until the evening of Tuesday, June 14, when the fire quietly went off on its own accord.
The pro-chancellor of the university, Martin Anagboso, who first noticed the fire had gone off said the institution made sure the fire did not spread to other parts of the community.
Top officials of regulatory agencies in charge of petroleum products were present during the briefing.
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A statement put out by the ministry via its official Twitter page debunked reports that the building was on fire.
The ministry, however, said that contrary to reports of a fire outbreak in its headquarters there was an incident on the corridor in the basement.
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Many people were feared dead while several persons were also said to have sustained injuries and have been rushed to the hospital for treatment.
Firefighters reportedly later arrived at the scene of the incident and attempted to put out the raging fire.