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HomeNIGERIAHow we tackled "gas" fire at Enugu Campus - Caritas Varsity

How we tackled “gas” fire at Enugu Campus – Caritas Varsity

Residents of Amorji-Nike community in Enugu state can now heave a sigh of relief following the successful extinguishing of a raging fire that erupted at a water drilling site at the Caritas University, over a month ago.
The school community and its environs witnessed sustained gas flaring and emission for over three weeks, as all attempts by different agencies to quell the fire failed.
The fire suspected to be methane gas emanated from a water drilling site at the Caritas University. However, in the course of the drilling, pressurised seepage was encountered after about 200 meters and fumes gushed out of the drilled hole.
Deputy Vice Chancellor of the university, Professor Michael Orji, maintained that despite the heat around the perimeters to the site of the burning well, no casualty was recorded through the 21 days that the fire raged.
The DVC, at a press conference in Enugu, clarified that the fire started following a decision by the school to sink a borehole to serve its teeming population.
In his words, “The university needed water so we did a survey to have a borehole dug. We contracted it out to a company to come drill the borehole and on Sunday 22 of May they started the drilling but on Tuesday while they dug to about 200 feet, they had to pull out the pipe because gas had started coming out from the well.
“The drillers were afraid that there might be fire outbreak as a result of the gas emission so they contacted us and we in turn invited the fire service who stood on as the drillers pulled out their pipes.
“The next day as we continued to make contact with relevant agencies, that was when fire erupted from the gas emission. That was when we intensified our calls to the governor, other relevant agencies to inform them that their was problem at hand.
“They all responded, the governor came visiting with all the relevant agencies and we held series of meeting on how to put off the fire.”
He said all attempt made by various agencies of government and professionals to put off the fire failed.
“The fire eventually went off on its own, an incident the school has decided to tagged as a miraculous feat, though the scientist may come up with an explanation which we await soon.
“A very important point to note is that through out these 21 days the fire kept burning there was no causality of any sort as no one was hurt or injured. Also when the fire went off the gas also stopped emitting the same time.
“A look at the well as inspected by the relevant agencies it was so dry that no gas was found inside it. These are the issues I must emphasis.
Meanwhile, the Owerri Zonal Coordinator of the Nigerian Petroleum Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, Mr. Enorense Amadasu, said the commission had supervised the immediate sealing of the site in accordance to industry standards.
Amadasu, who suspected that shallow gas may have been found on the site, said samples have been collected for further investigation to determine the type and volume of hydrocarbon that has been emitted into the environment.

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