Over 30 killed in Nige­ria pipe­line fire

The Free Press Journal - - WORLD -

Warri: At least 30 peo­ple were killed when a petrol pipe­line caught fire and ex­ploded in south­east Nige­ria af­ter a raid by sus­pected oil thieves, a sur­vivor and of­fi­cials said on Satur­day.

The in­ci­dent hap­pened in Aba town on Fri­day when van­dals burst the pipe­line op­er­ated by the state-run Pipe­line and Prod­uct Mar­ket­ing Com­pany. “The in­ci­dent oc­curred at 1.30am. Those burnt are over 30 with many oth­ers sus­tain­ing in­juries,” said Nnamdi Tochukwu, a sur­vivor on his hos­pi­tal bed in nearby As­aba.

A se­cu­rity of­fi­cer, who did not want to be iden­ti­fied, con­firmed the death toll.

“Over 30 bod­ies were burnt at the scene be­fore the ar­rival of se­cu­rity op­er­a­tives while many oth­ers are cur­rently re­ceiv­ing med­i­cal at­ten­tion at var­i­ous hos­pi­tals within and out­side the town,” the of­fi­cer said.

The spokesman for Nige­rian Na­tional Petroleum Cor­po­ra­tion said the vic­tims were van­dals at­tempt­ing to scoop petrol from the pipe­line. “I can’t give the ex­act num­ber of ca­su­al­ties for now, but the ex­plo­sion was caused as a re­sult of oil thieves who had hacked the line to in­ter­cept the flow of petrol from the Port Har­court re­fin­ery to Aba,” Ndu Ughamadu said.

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