Panic as Julius Berger workers damage active gas pipeline near Punch office

There was panic among residents and motorists at the Arepo-Magboro axis of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway following a gas pipeline leak near the Punch newspaper head office.

Hundreds of commuters scampered for safety causing gridlock as the gas continues to erupt with a huge hissing sound heard kilometres away in Arepo Estate and the Magboro community.

The gas pipeline ruptured during construction works by men of Julius Berger company on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway on Wednesday, Punch reported.

A resident of Forthright Gardens Estate simply identified as Omobolaji said that a loud sound was heard around 9:30 a.m. According to him, the pipeline eruption caused panic as many residents of the estate rushed out of their apartments.

Also, a resident of Arepo Estate, Adebayo Mike, said the incident had resulted in gridlock along the expressway.

“Our estate management has asked everyone to be cautious of that route. The filling station at Arepo bus stop has also been notified to shut down,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Ogun State Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps, has warned motorists to find alternatives routes and those trapped in the traffic to keep safe as first responders have arrived in the area.

“An incident of gas leakage, through a damaged pipeline by Julius Berger, the construction company, working on the Berger-interchange stretch of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, which has resulted into an explosion around Punch Newspaper, Magboro, has been reported with traffic gridlock on both inbound and outbound sections of the expressway,” TRACE said in a statement.

“Road Users around the axis are implored not to be jittery as safety officials from TRACE, FRSC, police, and the fire service are on top of the situation.

“Those trapped in traffic are admonished to be patient, while those presently making their journey towards the expressway and are in haste should please seek alternative routes,” the statement added.

The FRSC Corridor Commander, Lagos-Ibadan-Egbeda Corridor, Kehinde Hamzat, advised motorists not to panic, saying that “professionals are taking care of the situation”.

Hamzat said this in a traffic advisory for users of Lagos-Ibadan Expressway around Magboro.

The FRSC official said, “We have a case of gas pipeline explosion around Punch Newspaper, Magboro. The pipeline got busted while men of Julius Berger, the construction company working on Lagos-Ibadan expressway were excavating a surface for Worksite.

“This has led to a standstill traffic situation on both sections of the expressway.

“Motorists are advised not to panic as professionals are being contacted to take care of the situation.

“For people who have time-bound activities may explore alternative routes and for those who can postpone their trips, let us endeavour to do so while the situation gets controlled.”


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