Pipeline fire kills at least 100 in Nigeria

May 16th, 2008 - 1:40 am ICT by admin  

Abuja, May 16 (Dpa) A petroleum products pipeline explosion and fire left at least 100 people dead in a residential area of Nigeria’s business capital in the southwest Lagos Thursday. The fire began when an excavator used by a construction firm broke the pipeline and an explosion ensued, said Moyo Anibaba, the head of the Lagos state-owned ambulance services, confirming the deaths.

He said at least 40 people were seriously injured in the inferno.

“Most of the victims died as a result of the stampede as they were attempting to escape from the area,” he said.

“At least 35 houses in the neighbourhood and several vehicles were burnt to ashes,” Anibaba said.

Local reports said the driver of the excavator was working on a road expansion project of the Lagos State government and did not know he had struck a pipeline until fuel started gushing out and a explosion followed.

School pupils were hurriedly evacuated from nearby schools to check further disaster as residents assisted in curtailing the spread of the fire, the reports said.

An official of the National Emergency Management Agency, Abdullahi Mohammed said the fire could rage until Friday as the fuel was still gushing out.

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