Wednesday, December 27, 2006

260 Nigerians killed as a result of a deadly gasoline pipeline expolsion

We at Feels Good 2 B Home loves to highlight on the postive side of Nigeria but every now and then we like to bring us all to reality. 260 Nigerians were killed in an pipeline inferno today in Lagos--the former capital. Can we Naijas stop this madness already? Our thoughts and prayers goes out to the victims's family and friends.
260 Naijas killed as a Naija boy watches"Lagos, Nigeria - A gasoline pipeline ruptured by thieves exploded into a
blazing inferno Tuesday as scavengers collected the fuel in a poor neighborhood,
killing at least 260 people in the latest oil-industry disaster to strike
Africa's biggest petroleum producer. Braving a towering pillar of fire and a
cloud of acrid black smoke, thousands of people in Lagos' Abule Egba
neighborhood surged around rescue workers carrying away charred bodies, hoping
to catch a glimpse of missing relatives. A woman in a yellow T-shirt sobbed
uncontrollably, slapping herself on the face and clawing her own arms in grief
over the devastation of bodies and gutted cars spread around the pipeline.
A senior official for the Nigerian Red Cross, Ige Oladimeji, said his workers
counted 260 dead by nightfall and took 60 injured people to hospitals. "We are
still counting (dead), but there will not be hundreds more," he said.
Residents said a gang of thieves had been illegally tapping the pipeline for
months, carting away gasoline in tankers for resale.
Tapping is common in Nigeria, where many of the 130 million people live in woeful poverty amid widespread graft that makes a handful wealthy in this major oil exporter. A single pilfered can of gasoline sold on the black market can earn two weeks of wages for a poor Nigerian. But tapping also brings frequent accidents.
Earlier this year, 150 people died in a similar explosion in Lagos, and a 1998
pipeline fire killed 1,500 in southern Nigeria.
Tuesday's blast, the worst in years, came after thieves opened the conduit during the night but left without fully sealing it, prompting hundreds of nearby residents to rush to collect spurting gasoline with cans, buckets and even plastic bags, witnesses
said. It was unclear what ignited the fuel just after dawn.
"There were mothers there, little children," said Emmanuel Unokhua, an engineer who lives nearby. "I was begging them to go back."
Unokhua said people had splashed fuel on him seeking to chase him away and also doused a few police officers who tried unsuccessfully to control the crowd." {Source}

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