Locals scramble to safety after Sabah-Sarawak Gas Pipeline leaks

Hussaini (fourth left) is being briefed by representatives of Petronas, Bomba and locals at the site of the gas pipeline leak.

MIRI: Locals at Long Luping in Lawas scrambled to safety after the Sabah-Sarawak Gas Pipeline (SSGP) leaked in the wee hours today.

The pipeline leakage had also caused 80 pupils from SK Long Luping there to be evacuated immediately.

The leakage at KP181 was the second to hit the pipeline and the supply from Kimanis in Sabah was immediately shut off.

An explosion at KP135 in June 10, 2014 ripped apart a portion of the RM3 billion Sabah to Sarawak interstate gas pipeline project at the stretch between Lawas town and Long Sukang in the northern most district of Sarawak in the first gas leaking incident.

Martin Singa, 61,who lives in Long Meringau with his wife, said he heard of a loud explosion around 1.30am.

“I smelt of strong gas before I heard the loud explosion. The sound was so loud like a plane had crashed,” he said when contacted today.

Martin, whose house is located just about 500 metres from the pipeline said he and his wife immediately evacuated the house as the smell got stronger.

“We drove to the main road and both of us felt dizzy. We then went straight to SK Long Luping located about three kilometres away to inform the school,” Martin said.

He was at Long Semadoh clinic when contacted.

“My wife had difficulty in breathing since the explosion, so I brought her here for treatment,” he said.

Meanwhile, Petronas confirmed in a brief statement issued by its Sabah and Labuan Regional Office Media Relations that a gas leak has occurred at around 1.45 am today at Long Luping.

However, Petronas said there was no explosion.

The statement stated that the Emergency Response Team has been mobilised and put the situation under control and all relevant authorities have been informed.

“There is no impact to the surrounding communities and the environment. Investigation is still being carried out,” the statement added.

Lawas District Officer Hussaini Hakim when contacted, said there was no report of explosion received but there was loud sound heard by local villagers there.

“There was no report of any blast or injuries,” he added.

Hussaini, who was informed of the incident by Petronas and Fire and Rescue Department, said he would be going to the scene with them today.

Meanwhile, Ba Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian said he was informed by his staff in Lawas office of this leakage which was found this morning.

“I understand that Petronas security personnel had been sent to the area around Long Meringau near to Long Luping,” he said when contacted today.

As this was the second time a leakage had occurred, Baru said he is very concerned and so are the people in that area.

“A thorough investigation must be done. I hope to get a briefing from Petronas soon.”

Note: Any readers who have more details of the incident are welcomed to send in pictures and description to [email protected]


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