We have capacity, expertise to put off gas-induced fire — Enugu Fire Chief

Chief Fire and Rescue Officer in Enugu State, Chief Okwudili Ohaa, says Enugu State Fire Service has the capacity and expertise to put off the gas-induced fire outbreak in Emene near Enugu.

Ohaa disclosed this on Tuesday in Enugu while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the natural gas-induced fire outbreak near Caritas University, Amorji-Nike, Emene near Enugu.

NAN reports that the fire, suspected to have been caused by under-earth natural gas, was encountered during the drilling of a water borehole at Caritas University, Amorji-Nike, Enugu, on May 22.

Ohaa said that before now during the weekend, the fire service used a slab lid to control the amount of fire and it worked for hours.

According to him, however, the slab lid control cannot cover the entire drilled hole properly and after some hours due to the force of the gas and the fire continued to rage at its former capacity.

“Since the gas leak was reported on Sunday, May 22 by 9 p.m. by those drilling the borehole, my officers and men as well as state fire engine trucks have been on ground at the site of the gas leak.

“Until the gas turned into fire on Wednesday, May 25, we had been on ground and during the weekend we experimented putting a slab lid over the fire.

“It worked for several hours before the force of the gas pushed the slab lid and the fire reignited fully during an intense temperature in the day.

“We have not given up hope. We are waiting for big equipment to lay a gigantic slab lid to quench the fire and some other heavy platforms to be on top of the slab lid to reinforce it against the strength of the force of the gas.

“After dealing with the fire and stopping the inferno, other specialised oil and gas agencies as well as the NNPC will see to the stoppage of the gas leak permanently,” he said.

Ohaa said that the state fire service had taken necessary measures to ensure that the fire did not escalate beyond its present point.

“We have condoned-off the area as well as ensured that nobody within the neighbourhood stores inflammable materials.