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Nigeria holds mass burial for tanker explosion victims

(Xinhua)

11:20, July 13, 2012

LAGOS, July 12 (Xinhua) -- The Nigerian government has given a mass burial for most of Thursday's oil tanker explosion victims, a Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) official said.

State sector commander for the commission Kayode Olagunju told reporters in Port Harcourt, the state capital that 89 of the 95 persons who died in the petrol tanker explosion were given a mass burial at Okobe village in the Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers State.

Olagunju said six of the victims who died were identified and released to their respective families.

He said in all, 95 persons died in the incident with 18 others injured.

Police sources had earlier told Xinhua that more than 100 persons were feared to be burnt to death, while many were injured while scooping fuel from a fallen tanker in the early hours of Thursday in southeast Nigeria's Rivers state.

Stealing fuel from oil pipeline or taking oil from broken-down oil tanker truck is very common in Nigeria, Africa's leading oil producer. But mismanagement and corruption has his the refining sector, causing chronic fuel shortages.

The past few years have witnessed a string of pipeline explosions, with each killing at least dozens of people.

Nearly 300 people were burnt to death in Nigeria's commercial capital Lagos on Dec. 26, 2006, as they scooped fuel from a vandalized pipeline.

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