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60 Burnt Alive in Pipeline Fire

Posted by By Chinenye Ibe, Daily Champion (Lagos) on 2005/10/24 | Views: 2549 |

60 Burnt Alive in Pipeline Fire


Sixty illegal bunkerers have been burnt alive after a fuel pipeline belonging to the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC), were gutted by fire.

Sixty illegal bunkerers have been burnt alive after a fuel pipeline belonging to the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC), were gutted by fire.

The deceased met their death when the fire, which started at about 1 a.m on Monday, at a river that crosses Oregha settlement of Ekpan community in Uvwie council area, burnt their tools used in siphoning fuel from the pipes.

The fire, which engulfed the pipelines, destroyed 10 fibre speed boats and a large number of small wooden barges popularly known as "Cotonou barges".

Three big barges were partially destroyed.

It was learnt that the victims were illegal bunkerers and their accomplices.

Saturday Champion gathered that no member of the community was involved in the incident.

The Head of the PPMC, Warri Area Safety and Pollution Control, superintendent Lanre Onasagha, said that his department was able to put out the fire by shutting down some points at Jesse.

Onasagha, who could not give the exact number of those burnt in the inferno, said, "it is impossible to quote as the river has washed away some of the dead by the time the fire was put out."

According to him, all those barges, speed boats were manned by many people, including their business associates.

"It may include some members of the security outfit put in place to guard the area.

"So, it is hard to tell but many people died," he said.

Onasagha, who conducted newsmen round the items recovered at the scene, said the items included two valves.

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