Gas processing plant explosion kills 17, injures 25 in Nigeria
16 March 2020
A blast at a gas processing plant in Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos, killed at least 15 people and injured 25 others on March 15. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said the explosion was caused by a truck hitting gas cylinders near the company’s pipeline. The blast destroyed around 50 buildings in the surrounding area.
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Extensive damage was caused to nearby houses as well as the NNPC’s pipeline. All pumping operations on the Atlas Cove-Mosimi pipeline were halted, the state-owned oil company said in a statement.
Local media said that several people were taken to hospital with injuries and burns. Witnesses reported seeing large plumes of black smoke and a fire in the surrounding areas as firefighters worked to contain the spread of the blaze.
Pipeline explosions and fires are not uncommon in Nigeria, Africa’s largest crude oil producer. Theft and vandalism are common causes behind pipeline explosions in the country, which lost around $42bn to crude oil theft between 2009-2019.
Two recent incidents include a blast in January 2020 which killed five people and an explosion in June 2019 which killed 12. Both were the result of attempted oil thefts.