A policeman walks past an oil pipeline that exploded after it
was vandalised in Lagos, May 2006. At least 200 people were killed Tuesday
when a pipeline carrying petroleum products exploded in Nigeria's biggest
city of Lagos, a Red Cross official said. The death toll was expected to
LAGOS, Nigeria -- At least 200 people were killed Tuesday when a pipeline
carrying petroleum products exploded in Nigeria's biggest city of Lagos, a Red
Cross official said. The death toll was expected to rise.
Oladimeji, a senior official for the Nigerian Red Cross, said his workers had
documented "over 200 and still counting."
"We can only recognize them through the skulls, the bodies are scattered over
the ground," he said.
Hundreds of bodies could be seen jumbled and fused together in the raging
flames at the blast site. Intense heat kept rescue workers back, as smoke
billowed over the heavily populated Adule Egba neighborhood.
The blast shook the neighborhood after dawn, Nigerian Red Cross spokesman
Umar Mairiga said. Raging fires were hindering further recovery, he said. Many
people had been injured, he said.
It wasn't immediately clear what was flowing through the pipe. Witnesses said
people had rushed to the ruptured pipeline to collect fuel when the flames
Nigerians often tap into pipelines carrying refined fuel, scooping up the raw
product in buckets or plastic bags. Spilled fuel spreading in pools sometimes
ignites, immolating people nearby.
In May, more than 150 people died in a similar explosion in Lagos.
Nigeria is Africa's largest oil producer, but corruption, poor management and
limited refining capacity often leaves the country short of fuel for vehicles
Shortages in recent days have prompted hours-long lines at Lagos filling