An explosion at an illegal oil refinery in Nigeria has killed at least 50 people

An explosion at an illegal oil refinery in southeastern Nigeria has killed at least 50 people and injured dozens more. State officials and police released the information on Saturday (April 23rd).

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The death toll could rise to more than 100, according to a report in the Lagos-based Punch newspaper. The fire was reported to have spread to the surrounding area.

Declan Emelumba, the state commissioner for information and strategy, said the fire on Friday night quickly spread to two fuel storage areas of the illegal crude oil refinery, engulfing the complex in the area.

“The cause of the explosion and the amount of deaths, injuries and damage are being investigated,” Emelumba said.

Multiple videos posted on social media have shown gruesome scenes, where burnt human bodies have turned into skeletons and cinders. The Associated Press (AP) could not independently verify this information.

“A lot of people have died,” said Michael Abbott, a spokesman for the State Police Command. The dead are all illegal operators. “

An official said the state government was looking for the owner of the refinery and he had been declared a wanted person.

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