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Over 50 killed in explosion at Nigerian illegal oil refinery

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Over 50 killed in explosion at Nigerian illegal oil refinery

According to the Lagos-based ‘Punch’ newspaper, the death toll could be above a hundred. It is being told that the fire caused by the blast has spread to the surrounding buildings. Imo State Information Commissioner Declan Amelumba said Friday night the fire quickly spread to two illegal fuel stores. He said the cause of the blast and the exact number of casualties were being ascertained.

Nigeria: An explosion occurred at an illegal oil refinery complex in southeast Nigeria. More than 100 people are reported to have died in the blast while dozens of others were injured. Imo state officials and police have given this information.

According to the Lagos-based ‘Punch’ newspaper, the death toll could be above a hundred. It is being told that the fire caused by the blast has spread to the surrounding buildings.

Imo State Information Commissioner Declan Amelumba said Friday night the fire quickly spread to two illegal fuel stores. He said the cause of the blast and the exact number of casualties were being ascertained. Amelumba said the casualties, injuries, and damage caused by the blast were being investigated.

Imo State Police Command spokesman Michael Abattam said many people were killed, all illegal operators. An official said the Imo state government is also looking for the owner of the refinery where the blast took place and he has been declared a wanted person.

Illegal refineries are common in Nigeria where business operators often evade regulations and taxes by setting up refineries in remote areas, away from the eyes of the authorities. The practice is so widespread in this country that it is affecting even Nigeria’s crude oil production in the oil-rich Niger Delta region. Nigeria is the largest producer of crude oil in Africa, but it has very few refineries. As a result, most of the gasoline and other fuels are imported into the country.

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