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Nigeria: Scores killed in pipeline explosion in Rumuekpe, Emohua LGA, Rivers State

Scores of persons were killed on Thursday after a petrol pipeline exploded at Rumuekpe community in Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State.

Sources said the explosion occurred as a result of oil illegal bunkering activities by some youths of the community who regularly siphon petroleum products from the many pipelines that pass through the community.

A resident of the community, Mr Chikwem Godwin, confirmed that the area was notorious for oil bunkering and the explosion took place when some of the perpetrators attempted to cut one of the petroleum pipelines.

He said more than 20 persons may have died in the incident, given the number of persons that gathered at the scene on a daily basis.

“I can confirm to you that more than 20 persons died in that very incident. That particular place where this incident occurred is very notorious for bunkering activities. Youths from various communities gather there to carry out criminal activities of cutting oil pipes.

“The place is the centre of oil bunkering activities. There are so many oil , petrol and gas pipeline that crisscross the community. The pipelines are owned by some multi national oil companies.

“NLNG also have their gas pipeline crisscross along the stretch of the community. Those involved in this criminal activities may have ruptured petrol pipeline which ignited fire and burnt to death so many persons. This incident may have affected many families from all the neighboring communities as many youths involved in this nefarious activities comes from different community,” he said.

Another resident of Rumuekpe who simply gave his name as Amadi said he saw five corpses burnt beyond recognition.

When contacted Rivers State Police Command Public Relation Officer, SP Nnmadi Omoni confirmed the story but said he is yet to ascertain the number of deaths.

He said a detachment from the State Police Command had been deployed in the area to ensure there is no breakdown of law and order.

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