Dozens feared dead in Nigeria as leaking oil tanker explodes

Remigio Civitarese
Gennaio 12, 2019

Petrol tanker and pipeline blasts are common in Nigeria, where despite the country's multi-billion-dollar oil and gas industry, most people live in poverty.

Channels Television gathered that some of the residents were scooping fuel from a fallen petroleum tanker when the explosion occurred.

"We have recovered 12 corpses and taken 22 persons with serious burns to hospital", the police spokeswoman Irene Ugbo said.

The vehicle crashed in the Odukpani area of the southeastern state of Cross River, just north of the state capital, Calabar, at about 5pm (1600 GMT) on Friday. "Numerous other dead were burnt to ashes".

He added: 'It is not likely that anyone inside the pit survived as there was a lot of fuel in the pit'.

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.

Dozens were said to have rushed down to scoop the spilled product which later resulted in an explosion leaving many burnt beyond recognition.

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.

In June previous year, at least nine people died in Nigeria's commercial capital, Lagos, when a petrol tanker crashed, triggering a wildfire that gutted more than 50 vehicles.

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