An explosion at illegal oil refining depot in Nigeria’s Rivers state has killed over 100 people overnight, a government official has said.
‘The fire outbreak occurred at an illegal bunkering site and it affected over 100 people who were burnt beyond recognition,’ they added.
Unemployment and poverty in the Niger Delta have made illegal crude refining an attractive business but with deadly consequences.
Crude oil is tapped from a maze of pipelines owned by major oil companies and refined into products in makeshift tanks.
The hazardous process has led to many fatal accidents and has polluted a region already blighted by oil spills in farmland, creeks and lagoons.
It comes after Islamic State claimed responsibility for a bombing last night in Nigeria’s Taraba state capital Jalingo. The bomb injured 11 people including children, police said.
Another explosion went off in the city last night at a bar just minutes after closing for the day, according to a witness.
Danzumi Ishaku told Nigerian Tribune Newspaper that no casualties were reported, but a motorcycle parked nearby was destroyed.
Taraba has seen an uptick of suspected terror attacks over the past year, having previously been largely isolated from them.