File photo shows onlookers gathering at the site of a tanker that overturned and caused a large fuel fire in Nigeria.
At least 100 people including women and children have been killed after a fuel tanker tipped over on the east-west road in Nigeria’s oil-producing Niger Delta, Police says.
“Early this morning a tanker loaded with petrol fell on the East-West road in Okogbe, and people trooped to the scene, obviously to scoop the spilled fuel, and suddenly there was fire resulting in casualties,” a Rivers State police spokesman, Ben Ugwuegbulam, said.Despite being Africa’s biggest oil producer, Nigeria is plagued by corruption and inefficiency, where most people live on less than 2 dollars a day.
Crashes are common on Nigeria’s poorly maintained roads, and the chance to collect spilling petrol is too much of a temptation, despite the high risk of fires.
The east-west road, which runs across the oil-producing region, has been scheduled for development for almost a decade and money is allocated for it in the budget each year.
A member of Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Nigeria produces about 2.4 million barrels of oil per day, but virtually all of its petroleum products are imported due to corruption, mismanagement and violence at its refineries.