50 killed in Nigerian gas explosion: Official

By Rafiu Ajakaye

LAGOS, Nigeria (AA) – At least 50 people have been killed in a gas explosion in southeastern Nigeria, an official said late Saturday, raising the possibility that the death toll might rise.

“At the moment, we have 50 casualties but we will have a comprehensive report on Monday when we go to all the hospitals,” Evans Ugoh, southeast regional head of the National Emergency Management Agency, told Anadolu Agency.

Ugoh said the explosion occurred in the early hours of Saturday when people were scooping fuel from a damaged pipeline through which the state-owned oil corporation ferries refined crude oil to its depot in Enugu, the capital city of Enugu state.

“The pipeline caught fire when they were scooping fuel, resulting in a huge explosion. A whole building was razed in the inferno while dozens of people were injured,” he said.