12 dead in Nigerian pipeline explosion
24 June 2019
At least 12 people have died in an oil pipeline explosion in south-eastern Nigeria, with the death toll potentially rising further as more bodies are recovered. The explosion happened on June 22 near Oyigbo in the oil-rich Rivers State of Nigeria.
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Local media reported that the accident occurred during routine maintenance work on the pipeline. Some of the dead were locals who had gone to scoop up spilt oil that had leaked from the pipeline during the maintenance work before the fire broke out.
The local government said the fire has now been put out and bodies are being recovered.
There is still confusion surrounding who the owner of the pipeline is. Some reports in local media suggest it is owned by Shell Petroleum Development Company, however a company spokesman has denied the reports and said there has been no indication of an explosion at any of its facilities. Other reports suggest the pipeline belongs to Petroleum Product Marketing Company, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
Nigeria is Africa’s largest crude oil producer and has been plagued in the past by theft and vandalism of pipelines which has resulted in explosions and leaks.