By Chibuike Nwabuko
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – Federal government on Tuesday asked Nigerians not to panic as investigation has revealed that the strange happening witnessed in the Mpape area of Abuja a week ago was not a volcanic incident as suspected by members of the public.
The Director-General of the Nigerian Geological Survey Agency (NGSA), Alex Nwegbu disclosed this while briefing journalists on the outcome of the investigation carried out by the team of experts mandated by the agency.
Nwegbu urged members of the public not to panic as the findings did not present anything unusual to worry about.
According to him, it was discovered that excessive heat caused some of the materials around the base of a short-circuited electric pole conveying a 33KVA transmission line in the area to be forced to the surface.
“The residents noticed some molten material and white vapour gushing out from the ground in proximity to the base of the electric power pole.
“Preliminary measurements, readings, and inspection by the technical team of NGSA indicated a very limited localised event with no foreseeable danger to the public.
“Samples were then collected, and immediate analysis conducted with portable instruments, and later taken to the National Geosciences Research Laboratories in Kaduna to identify the nature and composition of the materials.
“The discharged molten material emanated at the foot of a short-circuited electric pole conveying 33KVA transmission line. The effect of the heat dislodged the foundation of the electric pole, causing it to tilt.
“From our findings, we can adduce that what occurred at Mpape was in-situ vitrification of foundation materials used in supporting the 33KVA high transmission line, and it was caused by an inadvertent flow of high voltage electrical current with a temperature of about 1600 – 2000C which passed into the foundation material of sand, cement and grit as well as the surrounding soil,” he explained.
Recalls that on, Tuesday, 3rd September, 2018, the alarm was raised over the strange phenomenon by the chairman of Bwari Area Council over the incident after which the DG and his team of experts, the Ministers of FCT and Mines and Steel Development, Muhammad Musa Bello and Abubakar Bawa Bwari respectively rushed to the scene to assess the situation. (Leadership).