Pandemonium as Julius Berger excavator destroys gas pipeline in Lagos – Ibadan expressway
A major tragedy was averted at Ibafo, along Lagos- Ibadan expressway, when an excavator operator working for Julius Berger mistakenly ruptured a gas pipeline buried on the road.
The incident, which happened at about 2 pm on Tuesday near Ibafo bus stop inward Lagos could have led to a major disaster on the busiest expressway in Africa but for providence.
It however caused a heavy gridlock in and outward Lagos part of the road, as residents, motorists and construction workers scampered for their lives.
Traffic managers and volunteers were also on hand to ensure that no vehicle get close as to avert fire outbreak as the ruptured pipe was oozing out gas in the air.
Many passengers were forced to alight from commercial buses trekked long distance to board commercial motorcycle.
An eye witness, who gave his name simply as Michael said, the excavator operator were just digging the spot, where they intend to refill with red mud, when it exploded with a big bang.
According to him, for providence, it could have burst to fire, which will have engulfed the whole vicinity.
Michael expressed dismay, while a big construction firm like Julius Berger do not carry out proper survey and investigation of the area despite their long presence before commencing the excavation.
Also, a passenger in one of the commercial buses going to Lagos, Mrs Bosede Ayotunde recalled the ugly incidence at Ijegun near Ikotun in Lagos where such excavation ruptured a person pipeline resulting to several deaths.
She urged the Federal Government to monitor the operations of their contractors in order to avert re-occurence.
As at about 2.30 pm, when the Guardian left the scene, the pressure of the gas is slowing down, while a construction worker, who is not permitted to speak to the press said, the situation is under control as efforts are on to block the flow.
Meanwhile, the project supervisor for Julius Berger Construction place, Engr Solace Orlu said the situation has been brought under control, while traffic has been restored in the two carriage way.
He explained that the rupture occurred during construction because there was no sign that the pipeline was laid there.
According to him, when the rupture was noticed, the whole carriage way was condoned off, while the gas owners were contacted to shut down the gas pipeline.
He also stressed that more facts will be released at the end of investigation on the incidence.