At least 250 people were killed in a pipeline explosion Monday near the villages of Oviri Court and Adeje in Nigeria's Delta state. The incident is the latest in a string of similar accidents that have occurred as a result of illegal tapping of Nigeria's product pipelines.
The death toll is continuing to rise following the Oviri explosion, as many people remain missing.
Eyewitnesses said the pipeline was ruptured Sunday by people attempting to collect gasoline. Numerous residents of Oviri Court, Adeje, and other neighboring villages reportedly swarmed the scene of the ruptured pipe with buckets, basins, and other containers. Witnesses said the explosion was caused by a spark from clashing metal containers as the villagers struggled to collect the gasoline.
Jackson Gaius Obaseki, group managing director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corp., visited the scene of the explosion to assess the extent of the damage.
The Warri pipeline was originally built to carry crude to NNPC's Kaduna refinery. It was modified to transport refined products into the area following a prolonged shutdown of the 110,000 b/d Kaduna refinery for repairs.
Oviri Court is about 9 km from Warri.