More than 100 people die in gas tanker fire in Nigeria

Fire explosion kills more than 100 people lining up to refill their cooking gas cylinder on Christmas Eve in Nigeria

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

Fire crews try to extinguish a fire at the scene of an explosion after fuel tankers caught fire in flames at a commercial truck garage in Apapa district in Nigeria's commercial capital of Lagos, May 25, 2010.

More than 100 people died while lining up to refill their cooking gas cylinders as a gas tanker truck caught fire at a crowded gas plant in Nigeria on Christmas Eve late Thursday.

The accident took place in Nnewi in the city of Anambra, during which an Associated Press reporter counted the remains of more than 100 corpses.

Emeka Peters, a local witness, said that the fire broke out at about 11 am when a truck finished discharging fresh gas at the Chikason Group plant and left without waiting for the prescribed cooling time.

"The fire exploded like a bomb, and the whole gas station went up in thick, black smoke amidst an explosion from cooking gas cylinders," Peters said. "Many people were killed, and most of them were those that had been in the station queuing all day to get their cylinders refilled."

The fire continued for hours he added.

The corpses alongside wounded victims were evacuated to the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital in Nnewi, in the city of Anambra.

"Many of them were burned beyond recognition, and I doubt if many family members of the dead victims would be able to identify the remains of their loved ones," said Peters. 

Another local witness also shared amateur pictures on social media after the disaster. 


TRTWorld and agencies