SAHARANEWS – More than 50 people are confirmed dead after a leaking oil pipeline exploded and caused a stampede in southern Nigeria.
The blast early on Friday caused massive oil spillage in the Nembe kingdom in Bayelsa state, the Nembe Chiefs Council spokesman, Chief Nengi James-Eriworio, told the Associated Press.
The Nembe trunk line is operated by the Port Harcourt-based Aiteo Group and carries crude oil to the Bonny export terminal. Aiteo has yet to comment on the explosion. It was not immediately clear if the pipeline has been shut down.
Video obtained by the AP shows a large blaze from the ruptured pipeline at night as villagers look on. “If they turn off the oil well from the station, the pressure inside the pipeline would reduce, causing the flame to burn out,” one person is heard in the background explaining.
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, and militant attacks.