Four die in Nigeria oil pipeline fire

LAGOS (AFP) – Four people were killed and several shops and vehicles burnt after thieves breached a fuel pipeline in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial hub, causing an explosion, emergency services said yesterday.

The incident, which happened last Sunday evening in the Abule-Egba area, is the latest in a long string of such accidents.

“We recovered the bodies of two men, a woman and her child from the scene of the fire around 4am,” Acting Zonal Coordinator of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Ibrahim Farinloye told AFP.

“Several buildings, shops and some articulated vehicles were engulfed in the inferno,” he said.

Farinloye said the fire was caused by vandals who broke open a state-run pipeline to steal petrol, causing panic among residents of the area.

He said thick smoke billowed from the scene before fire fighters could put out the blaze. The Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) also confirmed the incident.

Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer and exporter, runs a network of pipelines that transport crude and petrol across the vast nation.

Hundreds of lives have been lost in recent years due to vandals bursting pipelines to steal petrol, sometime resulting in explosions.

In 2018, several people died in a similar incident in the Abule-Egba area.