Police: Many Killed in Nigeria Oil Tanker Explosion

SAM OLUKOYA / AP

(LAGOS, Nigeria) — An overturned oil tanker exploded in Nigeria while dozens of people were scooping up the leaking fuel and many were killed, police and witnesses said Saturday.

Hundreds of people have died in similar accidents in recent years in Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, as impoverished people risk their lives to collect fuel leaking from pipelines or trucks.

“We have recovered 12 corpses and taken 22 persons with serious burns to hospital,” police spokeswoman Irene Ugbo told The Associated Press. She said the blast occurred Friday evening in Odukpani in Cross River state in the southeast.

But some residents put the death toll closer to 60.

“The police only recovered a few corpses, many of the other dead were burnt to ashes,” witness Richard Johnson told the AP.

He said about 60 people were inside a pit scooping fuel when the explosion occurred. “It is not likely that anyone inside the pit survived as there was a lot of fuel in the pit,” Johnson said.

He suggested the blast was caused by an electrical generator that had been brought to the scene to help pump out the fuel for people’s containers.

It was not immediately clear what caused the truck to overturn.

About a year ago, more than 30 residents in the same locality were burnt to death while scooping fuel from an oil tanker involved in an accident.

Nigeria’s worst such accident occurred in 1998, when more than 1,000 people died as the leaking oil pipeline from which they were scooping fuel exploded in the town of Jesse.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.