Red Cross says 100 dead after roadworks trigger pipeline explosion in Nigeria

Friday, May 16, 2008

Roadworks have triggered a massive explosion and fire on a fuel pipeline running through Ijegun, a suburb on the outskirts of Nigerian capital Lagos. Although the Nigerian Emergency Management Agency puts the current death toll at ten, the Nigerian Red Cross says at least 100 people have died.

The oil pipeline was fractured after a construction vehicle struck it and erupted into a fireball, with fuel running down the street. At least twelve homes caught fire, and students ran from a nearby school that was also threatened. According to witnesses, students are among the dead.

Firefighters have extinguished the blaze and work is now underway to try and reunite people separated during the fire and account for those present at the time.

Disasters such as this happen regularly in Nigeria, but they are usually attributable to organised criminals breaking into pipes for their content or terrorist attacks, whereas this event appears to have been an accident.


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