At least 12 dead after Nigeria oil tanker explosio

At least 12 dead after Nigeria oil tanker explosio

At least twelve people were confirmed dead after an oil tanker overturned and exploded in southern Nigeria, police said on Saturday.

The death toll was feared to be higher by locals, who told the press that people will often take the risk of trying to scoop up petrol leaking from damaged tankers or pipelines.

"We have recovered 12 corpses and taken 22 persons with serious burns to hospital," police spokeswoman Irene Ugbo told reporters

But one eyewitness countered that "the police only recovered a few corpses. Many of the other dead were burnt to ashes."

The incident occurred on Friday evening in Odukpani in southern Nigeria, where about 30 residents burned to death after a similar accident last year.

It was not immediately clear was caused the tanker to overturn, but Ugbo speculated the scraping of steel containers used to scoop up fuel could have sparked the explosion.

il tanker and pipeline explosions are relatively common in Nigeria.

The country's worst such incident came in 1998, when 1,000 people were killed when a pipeline leaking fuel exploded in the southern town of Jesse.

In 2012, scores of people were killed ,scooping up fuel using pans after an oil tanker that tipped over near the city of Port Harcourt exploded.