The illegal facility exploded at dawn Saturday in Rivers State.
The fire broke out in the building of an illegal facility that killed more than 100 people who were burned beyond recognition.
Goodluck Obia, the state commissioner for oil reserves, said.
Near the mouth of the Niger River in the oil-rich delta, due to unemployment and poverty, illegal crude oil refining has become a thriving, but often deadly, business. Crude oil is stolen from the pipeline network of large oil companies, and after the refining process, petroleum products are poured into simple improvised tanks designed for this.
However, the dangerous action led to a number of fatal accidentsin addition to the contamination of farms, streams and lakes in the area, which have already been affected by oil spills.
According to a local Youth and Environment Support Center (YEAC), a number of cars were burned in the explosion, queuing for illegal fuel.
Last October, at least 25 people, including children, were killed in an explosion and fire at another illegal oil refinery in Rivers State. In February of this year, local authorities announced that they had begun dismantling illegal facilities refining stolen crude, but apparently with little success.
Government officials estimate that in Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer and exporter, an average of 200,000 barrels of oil are lost per day due to thieves bugging or damaging pipelines. As a result, oil companies are forced to regularly report force majeure circumstances regarding oil and gas exports.
Cover image source: Getty Images
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