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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 on
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 whisper
eye media team.
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 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
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
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