A gas pipeline explosion in Oduoha, Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State, has created tension in the community.
The pipeline, which passes through the community to a terminal in Bonny, was said to have exploded Tuesday morning.
There was confusion whether the pipeline is owned by the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) or the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC).
As at 12 noon on Wednesday, gas was still leaking from the ruptured pipe.
Paramount Ruler of Oduoha Chief Ferdinand Ogbuehi said the explosion caused panic and forced many residents to flee.
He said: “From 4am till now, the people have been in fear. The vibration has sent many packing. We are not at rest. We have not seen this type of thing before. We want the government to come and see what is happening.
“We have announced that nobody should go there. We don’t want fire to destroy our community. We want the government to come.”
Community Development Committee Chairman Sir Napoleon Ewule said the community had contacted the two companies whose facilities were on the line. He said the firms promised to visit the scene to ascertain whose facilities caused the explosion.
He said: “About 4:12am, we heard an explosion. We were thinking an aeroplane crashed in our community.
“I called on the youths and we went there to see what happened. The effect is much. We came back and told our people to avoid the area. We called on NLNG to find out what is happening.
“There are two pipelines there – one for Agip and another for NLNG. When they come for inspection we will know who owns the one that exploded. The effect is much; the smell and the pepperish heat. The government should come in and stop the leakage.”