269 dead in oil pipeline blast in Lagos

 
Published: Wednesday 31 January 2007

-- The city of Lagos in Nigeria saw a major oil pipeline blast in the Abule Egba area on December 26, 2006. The country's Red Cross society said 269 deaths had been confirmed with 60 more taken to the hospital with serious burns. But Reuters reported that the number of deaths due to the blast could well be over 500.

The pipeline exploded as hundreds of residents tried to scoop fuel from a pipe punctured by thieves. "One friend knocked on our door and told my husband they were taking fuel. My husband ran out with two buckets and now he has gone. This is a curse from God," a woman named Ole said.

Fuel was also being sold on roadsides at double the price because of oil shortage in the country. Experts estimate that about 5 per cent of Nigeria's crude oil was stolen for export by criminals with contacts in the military and government. Despite huge exports of crude oil Nigeria relies heavily on imports of refined fuel.Meanwhile, another pipeline blast has been reported from another region of the city.

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