Sunday Tribune - - WORLD - AP ANA

A NIGE­RIAN of­fi­cial says at least 19 peo­ple are dead af­ter a leak­ing oil pipe­line ex­ploded in the south­east, while vil­lagers say the toll is higher.

Nige­ria Se­cu­rity and Civil

De­fence Corps spokesper­son Eke Onyekachi agrees that the toll could be higher af­ter Fri­day’s blast in the Osi­sioma lo­cal gov­ern­ment area of Abia state.

Vil­lager Uche Udenna said, “I saw sev­eral burnt bod­ies, about 30 of them.”

The Nige­rian Na­tional Petroleum Cor­po­ra­tion, which owns the pipe­line, says sus­pected oil thieves may have “hacked into the line”.

Nige­ria is Africa’s largest oil pro­ducer but the wealth reaches rel­a­tively few cit­i­zens.

Thieves of­ten break into pipe­lines which some­times ex­plode as vil­lagers scoop up fuel. |

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