Death Toll Reaches 60 In Nigerian Oil Pipeline Fire

Sixty people were killed after a fire broke out Oct. 12 on an oil pipeline in the southeast of Nigeria, a spokesman for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said Oct. 15, up from the tally of 16 dead given by officials three days earlier.

The state oil company on Oct. 12 said pumping on the System 2E pipeline network had been halted.

“We will resume the pumping of products very soon,” Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. (NNPC) spokesman Ndu Ughamadu told Reuters on Oct. 15. “We had put out the fire. We are now pumping water in the pipeline to detect other possible areas of leakages.”

The System 2E pipeline is a key network that supplies imported gasoline and output from the Port Harcourt refineries to much of the southeast and north of the country. The two refining plants at Port Harcourt operate far below their 210,000 barrels per day capacity.