Many children were reported missing Monday while trying to escape from a Sunday night explosion at a gas pipeline operated by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in Obotim Nsit, Nsit Ibom Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
The Akwa Ibom Police Command have however dismissed reports that the incident was caused by the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), which claimed responsibility for the explosion. It was also silent on reports that several children were missing as a result of the blast.
Meanwhile, the village head of the community, Chief Akponidung Akpan Ukpong, raised the alarm yesterday, stating that several children could not be found after residents were forced to flee from the explosion that occurred late Sunday.
The community head said when he came out of his house due to the pandemonium that had ensued, he encountered very heavy flames and people running for safety.
Besides the missing children, the village head said the explosion damaged the farmlands in the community.
But while the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Murtala Mani, said that the explosion was not caused by an attack on the pipeline by militants, the Transition Committee Chairman in the area, Mr. Victor Umondak, disagreed, saying militant activities could not be ruled out.