Power supply to parts of Benin City, Edo State, and its environ is under threat as a 150MVA transformer was destroyed on Saturday by fire.
The transformer, which belongs to the Transmission Company of Nigeria, is located at the 330/132/33KVA substation on Sapele Road, Benin.
The fire, which was said to have started around 8am, was finally extinguished around 11.30am by four firefighting vehicles.
Our correspondent reliably gathered from a source at the TCN, who did not want to be named, that the cause of the fire was not yet known.
An eyewitness, David Osasu, however, said that he heard an explosion on the premises of the substation around 8am, which was followed by thick smoke.
“The transformer exploded around 8am. It took over an hour before help came from the fire service as the TCN does not have a fire service,” the eyewitness stated.
He lamented that the TCN substation in Edo, which controls more than two states, did not have its own firefighting equipment for use in case of fire outbreaks.
Osasu added that help finally came later when fire fighters from Nigerian Army, Nigerian Air Force, the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, the Delta State Fire Service and that of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited came to extinguish the inferno after about three and half hours after it had started.
When journalists visited the scene of the incident, five firefighting vehicles were seen moving out of the premises.
They were, however, denied entry into the premises as the gate was locked and manned by security personnel.
As of the time of filling this report, efforts to reach the management of the TCN were not successful as they top managers were said to be very busy.