An explosion at an illegal oil refining site in the Ibaa town of Rivers State’s Emuoha Local Government Area killed at least 18 people.
According to eyewitnesses who spoke to Chronicle NG, the incident occurred late Sunday night while some residents were scooping petroleum products.
According to a local source, the explosion occurred when one of the containers used to refine some crude oil into finished products caught fire.
He stated that the community cannot determine the number of casualties, although it is believed that many people were there at the scene.
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps on Tuesday acknowledged the incident, stating that 18 persons were killed.
According to NSCDC spokesperson Olufemi Ayodele, the victims were burned beyond recognition.
He added that 25 people were rescued with injuries, and that preliminary investigations found that the site is owned by one John Bodo, who also suffered significant burns, and that his son, Uche John Bodo, a recent graduate, died on the spot.
Other casualties were described by the NSCDC as a pregnant woman and a young lady preparing for her wedding next month.