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8 Dec 2017

Commotion as Illegal Refinery Explosion Leaves Scores Dead In Rivers

An illegal refinery has exploded in a community in Rivers State, leaving many people dead in the area from the effect.
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An explosion at an illegal refinery, also known as "Kpofire", on Thursday, has left scores dead along Kolo Creek in Okaki, a boundary community between Rivers and Bayelsa states, a SaharaReporters has shown.

A source told SaharaReporters that the incident, which occurred in the early hours, was on account of combustion from the equipment being used by illegal refiners. According to the sources, the equipment is substandard and susceptible to combustion.                     

Another source, however, said the explosion was caused by a female worker, who lit a match around the oil spill on the ground of refinery site.

“The one at Kolo Creek, I learnt, was caused by a lady who lit a match to prepare noodles and the gas that came with the crude oil enveloped everybody. My source said about 27 persons lost their lives, with many burnt beyond recognition,” the source said.

He added that the death toll could be a lot higher, saying that explosions occur more frequently than is reported.   

"I learnt that every day, there are unreported cases of deaths as a result of the explosion there. Business is brisk and many people, including the security agents, make huge cash at Kolo Creek,” he said.

A Police source, who confirmed the incident, told SaharaReporters that the exact casualty figure is not yet known, details remain sketchy.

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