April 25, 2022

Nigeria: Refinery Explosion Claims 100 Lives

At least 100 people have lost their lives after an illegal refinery exploded last Friday, 22 April, in southern Nigeria.

Reports on Sunday, 24 April, claim that a fire started raging at a plant nearby the rural community of Egbema in Imo state; eventually, the fire sparked an explosion which caused property damage and left many victims – including women and children – burnt beyond recognition.

Nigeria is rich in crude oil deposits, and so illegal refining operations have sprung up as an attractive means to make money, but many are either unregistered or fail to follow safety guidelines.

President Muhammadu Buhari called the incident a “catastrophe and a national disaster”, and offered his condolences to the victims’ families.

Local authorities are currently investigating the incident and have launched a manhunt for the on-the-run operator of the site, identified as Okenze Onyenwoke.

In October last year, a blast at an illicit facility in the deposit-heavy region of Rivers state claimed 25 lives.

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