In an illegal oil refining facility in Nigeria, at least 37 people have been killed in an explosion. The incident took place in the early hours of Monday, October 2, in the Ib area of the River State in southern Nigeria.
This information was reported by the Reuters news agency on Wednesday, October 4. Among the 37 deceased in the explosion at the illegal oil refining facility, two were pregnant, as stated in the report.
A Reuters eyewitness saw 15 dead bodies in an open area surrounded by burnt palm trees and a motorcycle.
Rufus Walekem, the head of local environmental protection, stated that 21 individuals were burnt to death in the incident, while two others who were injured and hospitalized succumbed to their injuries in the morning. Family members of the deceased have already identified some of the bodies for burial.
Illegal oil refining, a common occurrence in the oil-rich Niger Delta region, involves the theft of oil from pipelines of various oil companies for processing in unauthorized refineries. In such illicit refineries, explosions and other accidents often occur, resulting in loss of lives.
The Monday explosion in the Ib community of the Iba Delta is the latest incident of this kind in the local community, as informed by Rufus Walekem.
The Nigerian government has been making efforts over the years to shut down these illegal oil refining facilities, with some success. Many of these facilities are allegedly operated by politicians and security officials involved in illegal activities.