Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Reports say that hundreds of people are dead after a gasoline pipeline exploded in the northern suburbs of Lagos, Nigeria on Tuesday.
“Some of the bodies were so burnt that it would be difficult to recognize them as those of human beings,” said one Red Cross official, Kingsley Amori.
The Red Cross says that many of the victims can only be identified by looking at the remains of their skulls. Estimates suggest that 200-900 people were killed, and another 60 people received medical treatment.
“The bodies are scattered over the ground. We can’t get close enough because the fire is still burning. We cannot confirm how many hundreds were killed.” said secretary-general of the Nigerian Red Cross, Ige Oladimeji.
The explosion is believed to have been caused by vandalization in the pipeline. Reports say that thieves used a drill to punch a hole in the pipeline in order to steal gasoline, which is sold on the black market.
Fuel was being pumped into the pipes to be distributed for consumer use when it exploded. The pipeline is operated by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, which is owned by the State of Nigeria. Workers have stopped pumping fuel through the pipelines.