At least 20 people have died in an explosion from an illegal oil tapping point in Omoku, Ogba/Egebema/Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The incident occurred on Sunday morning, Dec. 24, after youths allegedly broke a pipeline belonging to one of the multinational oil firms operating in the area and started scopping fuel.
The fire killed those scooping fuel and those nearby.
While 20 are feared dead, many suffered varying degrees of burns and are receiving treatment in different hospitals in the area.
‘It is a very terrible incident. Imagine the death of 20 people in such a time. We learned some youths bust a company pipeline.
‘If you go to the General Hospital and other private clinics in Omoku, you will see many of the injured people scattered all over the place in both government and private hospitals taking treatment,’ the source added.
The Assistant Secretary of a vigilante group in the area, Onelga Security Peace Advisory Council, Emeka Agbabere, blamed the incident on illegal oil bunkering.
Agbabere said the vigilante group, the Community Development Committee and youths were directed by a monarch in the area to put a stop to oil bunkering activities there.
He however expressed dismay that repeated campaigns for youths to stop illegal bunkering have not yielded the result.