It was a tragic scene Tuesday at a site of a vandalised pipeline in Lagos.
Some suspected oil thieves, whose number was yet to be ascertained as at Tuesday, were believed to have been burnt to death while scooping fuel at a vandalised pipeline at Ije-Ododo, near Ijegun in Iba Local Council Development Area of Lagos State.
The fire, according to an eyewitness, started around 9pm when about 30 people arrived the scene of the incident to scoop fuel into hundreds of 50 kg jerry cans from the burst pipeline. Minutes later, there was an explosion and fire broke out, consuming those scooping the fuel and their equipment. According to reports, men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) officials were at the scene to assess the situation.
The NSCDC leader, who identified himself as Mr. Shem Obafaiye, said his team was facing serious challenges. An NNPC official said: "You can see that the fire is still raging. We can't go far to examine the damaged pipeline or know the number of people killed because the pipeline is buried under water.