Hundreds dead in Nigeria oil fire

At least 269 people have died in a blaze at a vandalised oil pipeline.

    Hundreds of people gather as firefighters
    try to douse the flames [AFP]

    Speaking to Al Jazeera, Stella Din, a journalist at the scene, said that local officials and Red Cross workers had prepared a mass burial site.

     

    "Residents woke up this morning to a massive inferno and saw hundreds of bodies," she said.

     

    Pipeline fractured

     

    Witnesses said that unidentified people had tapped the pipeline for fuel, transferring it into several tanker trucks.

     

    They said the explosion occurred afterwards as local residents crowded in to take petrol for themselves.

     

    "They came and tapped the pipeline, filled the tankers with the fuel and went away with them," said Joe Okah, a witness.

     

    "Then people here who were suffering came to fill jerrycans and then there was the explosion."

     

    Local television stations ran messages advising residents living in neighbourhood close to the blast to leave.

     

    Those who were burned were taken to hospital in Ikeja, another northern suburb.

     

    Explosions at oil pipelines, often causing large numbers of casualties, are not uncommon in oil-rich Nigeria.

     

    In October 1998, a pipeline explosion killed 1,082 people and injured hundreds more at Jesse in the Niger Delta, and 300 were killed in July 2000 in the same area.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Why is the West praising Malala, but ignoring Ahed?

    Why is the West praising Malala, but ignoring Ahed?

    Is an empowered Palestinian girl not worthy of Western feminist admiration?

    Blood-rusted Sword: Elite force of Saudi crown prince

    Blood-rusted Sword: Elite force of Saudi crown prince

    Al-Ajrab Sword Brigade, formed in 2015, comprises elite forces from across Saudi military ranks.

    Why some African Americans are moving to Africa

    Escaping systemic racism: Why I quit New York for Accra

    African-Americans are returning to the lands of their ancestors as life becomes precarious and dangerous in the USA.