Explosion at illegal oil refining depot in Nigeria kills over 100

Yenagao (Reuters) – An explosion at an illegal oil refining depot in Nigeria’s Rivers state killed over 100 people overnight, a local government official and the NGO Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC) said on Saturday.

“The fire outbreak occurred at an illegal bunkering site and it affected over 100 people who were burnt beyond recognition,” the state commissioner for petroleum resources, Goodluck Opiah, said.

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.