Friday, May 12, 2006

At least 150 killed in Nigerian pipeline blast

An explosion apparently caused by poor people siphoning a Nigerian oil pipeline caused at least 150 deaths Friday, police said.

The blast happened at Ilado about 28 miles east of Lagosafter cans apparently filled with pilfered petrol ignited.

Oil pipelines in Nigeria routinely run through impoverished areas and drilling into the pipes is a common but dangerous practice among local people. The fuel is either used b y the poor folk themselves or sold on the black market.

Although it is Africa's largest producer of oil, many areas in Nigeria show little signs of the progress found in other oil-rich nations. The disparity in development spawned armed movements aimed at disrupting the country's oil production.

"Requisitioning" fuel by siphoning pipelines is another way that poor people address the problem.

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