At least 12 people have been confirmed dead following an oil pipeline explosion from an illegal oil bunkering site in Rivers State, South-south Nigeria.
The incident occurred in the early hours of Friday in the Rumuekpe community, in the Emohua local government area of the state.
The police spokesperson in the state, Grace Iringe-Koko, said in a statement in Port Harcourt on Friday that the identities of the victim were unknown.
“Preliminary investigation by the Police Command indicates that the victims were scooping crude products when the site caught fire.
“Five vehicles, four Tricycles (Keke NAPEPs), and one motorcycle were all burned to ashes,” Mrs Iringe-Koko, a police superintendent, said.
Pipeline sabotage, illegal oil bunkering and refining have been on the increase in the oil-producing Niger Delta despite efforts by the government at tackling the menace.