Up to 12 bodies were recovered from the scene of a pipeline explosion in Nigeria’s oil-rich Rivers State as of Sunday, local sources said.
A deafening sound was heard in a location of an oil facility in Komkom community of Oyigbo local government area of Rivers on Saturday, causing panic among locals.
Billows of smoke followed the heavy bang, causing a prompt response by local emergency workers and locals to move toward the area for a rescue operation.
One local emergency worker told Xinhua on Sunday that a dozen bodies had been recovered at the scene of the explosion, saying “they were burned beyond recognition.”
The local emergency official, who was not authorized to speak on the rescue operation, said 10 bodies were earlier found but two injured victims died at the hospital.
Gerald Oforji, chairman of the Oyigbo local government area, said the dead bodies were recovered after the huge fire had been put out.
Local police said it is difficult to establish an exact casualties figure for now, until pending investigation is concluded.
It is also unclear for now who the owners of the oil facility are.
The Shell Petroleum Development Company has said there is no indication that any of its facilities in Oyigbo community had exploded.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered a thorough investigation into the incident, saying he is saddened by the development.