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Pipeline fire claims several lives near Lagos

Several people died when a broken fuel pipeline went up in flames on the outskirts of Nigeria's commercial capital, Lagos, witnesses said on Monday.

Many people had gathered to scoop fuel at the point where a major pipeline carrying gasoline had ruptured in the village of Akute, 40 km north of Lagos, when a fire started.

"I saw at least 10 bodies and there may still be more as the fire is still raging," a local resident, Johnbull Oghene, told IRIN.

The state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), which operates the pipeline, blamed the fire on vandals.

"The pipeline was vandalised at the Akute point and people had gone there to scoop fuel before the fire broke out," NNPC spokesman Ndu Ughamadu said in a statement.

More than 2,000 people have died in similar pipeline fires in different parts of southern Nigeria since 1998.

In the worst known incident in Jesse, in the Niger Delta, in October 1998, more than 1,000 people were killed when they were caught in an inferno while scavenging fuel from a ruptured pipeline.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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