Saturday 19 October 2019

More than 50 people missing after pipeline explodes in Nigeria

Fire is seen from a pipeline explosion in Nembe, Nigeria
(AP Photo)
Fire is seen from a pipeline explosion in Nembe, Nigeria (AP Photo) Newsdesk Newsdesk

More than 50 people are missing after a leaking oil pipeline exploded and caused a stampede in southern Nigeria, local officials say.

The Nembe Chiefs Council spokesman, Chief Nengi James-Eriworio, said that the blast caused a massive oil spillage in the Nembe kingdom in Bayelsa state.

The Nembe trunk line is operated by the Port Harcourt-based Aiteo Group and carries crude to the Bonny export terminal.

Video from the scene shows a large blaze from the ruptured pipeline as villagers look on.

One person can be heard in the background saying: "If they turn off the oil well from the station, the pressure inside the pipeline would reduce, causing the flame to burn out."

It is not immediately clear if the pipeline has been shut down. Aiteo is yet to comment on the explosion.

The Niger Delta is highly polluted. Nigerian oil companies usually assert that the majority of oil spills are caused by sabotage, theft and illegal refining.

PA Media

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