An explosion at an illegal oil refinery in Nigeria’s Rivers State has killed hundreds of people.
The bomber struck shortly after noon in front of a crowd of 2,000 people, according to Reuters and Al Jazeera.
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Hundreds of people have been killed in a fire at an illegal oil refinery, said Goodluck Opiah, the state’s petroleum resources commissioner. The bodies of these people have been burnt in the fire in such a way that they are not going to be identified.
The Youth and Environmental Advocacy Center said several cars lined up to buy illegal oil were burned at the time of the blast.
At least 25 people, including children, were killed in an explosion and fire at an illegal oil refinery in Rivers State in October last year.
Nigeria is the largest oil producer and exporter in Africa. According to the Nigerian government, many barrels of oil are stolen every day.
Extreme unemployment and poverty have made illegal oil refining an attractive business in Nigeria. Occasionally, however, explosions and fires at these illegal refineries result in deaths.
After stealing oil from the pipelines of various major oil companies in the country, they are refined in illegal installations. This dangerous process often leads to fatal accidents.
A region of the country has become a victim of horrific pollution as a result of this illegal oil refining process. In the meantime, agricultural lands, rivers and lakes in the area have also been damaged.
The oil is stolen from the pipelines of major oil companies and sold as fuel after being refined in illegally constructed temporary tanks.
Local authorities launched an operation last February to crack down on illegal sale of oil after refining it. But it did not bring much success.