Does Nigeria possess the relevant forensic expertise to deduce the size of the explosive that devastated Abule Ado? I am referring here not to the trigger which could jolly well be a match stick, box of matches, a cigarette, a 12.5 or even a 50kg cylinder of LPG. If could also be a 2-ton industrial LPG storage.
Let's leave the trigger alone for now.
Even as a layman viewing the field of devastation, I have deduced that the explosion proper cannot be less than 5kilotons TNT equivalent. No, I have no proof. At this point, I request professional backups or refutation? Please!
What exactly was this explosive? The statement by the NNPC boss at the scene that "it was gas" was unscientific, in view of the fact that the NNPC swears that none of its pipelines was involved.
Whether it was gas or not, it has been two weeks and the NNPC is yet to identify the ownership of the pipeline spewing those highly inflammable fluids (liquids or gas, we've not been told), burning over the next several days? How deep was that particular pipe buried? Is that standard? This is most doubtful. If the pipeline was carrying Natural Gas which the NNPC does NOT transfer from the Atlas Cove to Ejigbo and then to Mosimi and Ibadan, then it seems likely that the suspect pipeline must have been a natural gas line belonging to Gaslink Ltd, a subsidiary of Oando Plc flowing north to south toward the Dangote and other industrial operations on the shorelines by the lagoons. Was it a conspiracy that the ownership of this poorly installed gas delivery pipeline has been kept under wraps. I hope that Oando Plc, which is the ONLY gas distributor South of Ikorodu and the newer Igbesa cement plants in Ogun State, will come out with a statement. Was it one of their gas pipelines?
Other questions begging for answers:
- What part did the DPR play in the poor installation practices, now revealed?
- Since we have been made to understand that a truck was involved, was the sparking incident at a pipeline road crossing?
- Was there a provision in the design for a steel casing of the correct size and thickness in that location?
- Was it installed?
- At the Spec Standard depth?
- Was the Casing breached?
- Was there an Earthing Requirement for any/or all of the components?
- Was the Earthing implemented?
- Was there prior damage and dislocation there due to Soil Erosion and/or Wilful Trespass by property developers?
- Can we locate the last Right Of Way Inspection Report where this problem was indicated?
- When was that?
- What Remedial Action if any was recommended?
- Was it implemented?
- If not, why not?
My colleagues in the Nigerian Society of Engineers would have their hands full with this Case Study.
The leadership at the topmost echelons of the NNPC must recognise that what the people of Abule Ado, Lagos and indeed Nigeria need and want is JUSTICE not sympathy. That's where the Attorney General of Lagos State needs to step in.
When the Dupont plant in Bhopal blew up more than three decades ago, the Indian government spearheaded by the Engineering Safety community rallied to find answers. Unlike here, every professional did not insist on being involved in the humanitarian relief effort, joining the CBN Governor to mobilize funds. Note that a good part of what we lost at Abule Ado cannot be redeemed by money. Ultimately at Bhopal heads rolled. The plant, manufacturing methyl isocyanate, was closed down permanently. Dupont paid billions in damages and I believe is still paying to this day.