Nigeria Oil Pipeline Blast Kills At Least One in Niger Delta

(Reuters) — A crude oil pipeline explosion killed at least one person and injured another on Friday, authorities on the scene said, while members of the affected community in Emohua said they feared many more had died in the blast.

Garuba Yabuku, civil defense spokesman for Emohua, in Rivers State, the heart of Africa's biggest oil industry, said the incident was reported around 4:30 a.m.

"The pipeline was gutted by fire. We are not sure the number of casualties, but a lady was rescued and body burnt. We are still on rescue operations," he said at the scene, where the fire was still blazing from the pipeline next to five burned out vehicles flanked by a palm forest.

"Many people got burnt inside the fire, males and females. It could be up to 15 in number," community leader Ogbonna Francis told Reuters at the scene.

Oil theft and pipeline sabotage are common in the southern oil production heartland of Nigeria, Africa's biggest crude producer. The methods used to steal oil often result in accidents that cause fires.

In 2018, a similar disaster killed 60 people.

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