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Enugu gas fire yet to stop six days after

Six days after natural gas deposit was punctured by borehole drillers in Emene Enugu, the resulting fire has refused to be put out.


Enugu State Chief Fire Officer, Okwudiri Ohaa who started fighting the fire since Sunday May 22, said the continuous release of gs has made it difficult to stop the fire.


In an exclusive chat Ohaa noted that the drillers had gone over 1,242 feet when they struck the gas deposit.


“They hit gas. Initially we thought it was a pipe and I mobilized my men and controlled it so that it doesn’t catch fire. We were there for two days. It was when we went out to mobilize that I got a call that there was fire.


“What happened was that someone took lighter to see if it will catch.”

He explained that it was not an explosion as being reported in some quarters pointing out that someone actually went there to see if it was inflammable. “And this is natural gas embedded below the earth.”


This was after the area was cordoned and people warned not to go there.


“We rushed immediately with Federal Fire Service, with all the chemicals we had. We did all we could, we even brought in caterpillars to fill the hole. At a point we engaged tippers to use sand and cover the hole.


“Government has spent money trying to stop the fire. We have wasted chemicals running into millions in an attempt to stop the fire.”


He noted that NEMA has arrived to assist yet the situation has not been controlled.


He explained that two methods of fighting fire has already been tried, “we have used smothering which is the use of chemical to suffocate oxygen. The second is cooling which is the use of water. The third is the next we want to explore and that is starvation-; trying to eliminate the source of fuel.”


He said the fire is continuous. “We are lucky it’s inside the bush not on the road. And it cannot escalate.”





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