Fire kills dozens at illegal oil refinery in Nigeria

Dozens of people have died following an explosion and fire at an illegal oil refinery in Nigeria’s south.

The incident is said to have happened late on Sunday in Rivers state, but it was only widely reported on Tuesday.

The state commandant of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Basil Igwebueze, confirmed the incident to BBC Pidgin.

He said that 18 people were burnt beyond recognition, while 25 were rescued.

Mr Igwebueze blamed people who vandalise oil pipelines and operate illegal refineries for the deadly incident.

Illegal refining is common in the region, with locals tapping oil from pipelines to sell.

Last year, more than 100 people died following an explosion at an illegal oil refinery in Imo state.

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