Nigeria Pipeline Blast Kills Over 200
Thieves trying to steal gas from a pipeline in Lagos, Nigeria have caused an explosion that has killed over 200 people.
At least 200 people were killed Tuesday when a pipeline carrying petroleum products exploded in Nigeria’s biggest city of Lagos, a Red Cross official said. The death toll was expected to rise. Ige Oladimeji, a senior official for the Nigerian Red Cross, said his workers had documented “over 200 and still counting.” “We can only recognize them through the skulls, the bodies are scattered over the ground,” he said.
Hundreds of bodies could be seen jumbled and fused together in the raging flames at the blast site. Intense heat kept rescue workers back, as smoke billowed over the heavily populated Adule Egba neighborhood. The blast shook the neighborhood after dawn, Nigerian Red Cross spokesman Umar Mairiga said. Raging fires were hindering further recovery, he said. Many people had been injured, he said.
It wasn’t immediately clear what was flowing through the pipe. Witnesses said people had rushed to the ruptured pipeline to collect fuel when the flames ignited. Nigerians often tap into pipelines carrying refined fuel, scooping up the raw product in buckets or plastic bags. Spilled fuel spreading in pools sometimes ignites, immolating people nearby. In May, more than 150 people died in a similar explosion in Lagos.