Gas Flare: Explosion erupts in Enugu, Victims undergoing treatment

As govt warns against illegal borehole drilling

Gas Flare: Explosion erupts in Enugu, Victims undergoing treatment Gas Flare: Explosion erupts in Enugu, Victims undergoing treatment

The Enugu State Fire Service has extinguished a gas flare incident that occurred during a borehole drilling operation at the Federal Housing Estate in Ugwogo Nike, Enugu State.

The state government has reaffirmed its dedication to transforming the state’s untapped gas and mineral resources into valuable assets.

In light of this incident, the government has emphasized the importance of obtaining proper authorization from the State Ministry of Environment and Climate Change and relevant government agencies before drilling boreholes.

During an on-site inspection of the gas flare incident, Commissioner for Environment and Climate Change, Prof. Sam Ugwu, expressed gratitude to the firemen for their swift response in containing the situation. He also highlighted the government’s interest in harnessing various mineral resources within the state, beyond just coal.

“As was rightly pointed out, we had this experience around the Caritas University last year and this is the second incident.

“The government is going to investigate the incident further because already, we have environmental laws. They were supposed to have applied to the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. The Ministry would come here to do an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) and then there would be a letter of commencement, which would be issued by the Ministry. So, I advise anybody going into the ground to do the proper thing to avoid this kind of experience we now have here. But for the prompt intervention of the State Fire Service, this could have caused loss of lives and houses around this place.

“But these gas eruptions have also further confirmed Governor Peter Mbah’s statement that we have both solid and liquid mineral resources in abundance in Enugu State, which his administration is very much interested in harnessing for the good of the people of Enugu and the nation in general.

“So, Enugu cannot be known as Coal City alone because we have gas, limestone, kaolin, gypsum, and other mineral resources in abundance. That is why the present government is very much interested in bringing local and foreign investors to come and invest in these mineral deposits”, Ugwu stated.

The Chief Fire Officer, Engr. Okwudiri Ohaa mentioned that previous experience with a similar gas eruption near Caritas University had enabled the Fire Service to respond more effectively and quickly in this case. He underscored the government’s commitment to making Enugu State an attractive destination for investment.

Residents of the area commended the State Fire Service for their prompt action, which prevented further escalation of the situation. While the incident caused chaos, there were no casualties or significant property damage. The drilling company confirmed that those injured were receiving medical care.

This incident serves as a reminder of the need for proper regulation and safety measures in resource exploration activities, and the Enugu State government’s resolve to harness its abundant mineral resources for the benefit of its residents and the nation.

Written by Chibuike Ezekwesili (Obinwannem News correspondent Enugwu State)
Date: October 31, 2023
Published by Ugwu Okechukwu (Obinwannem ndi Igbo)

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