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Nigeria oil blast: Dozens die after explosion at illegal refinery

Nigeria oil blast: Dozens die after explosion at illegal refinery

At least 50 people were killed in southern Nigeria in an explosion at an illegal oil refinery, the authorities have said.

Dozens of people were thought to have been working at the refining plants when they were caught in the huge fire.

Many were burnt beyond recognition.

High levels of poverty and unemployment have made illegal oil refining an attractive business for many residents of the oil-rich communities in southern Nigeria.

The death toll could rise, with one local official being quoted by the AFP news agency as saying that emergency workers had recovered "at least 80 badly burnt bodies at the scene".

"We learnt many bodies are in nearby bushes and forests as some illegal operators and their patrons scampered for safety," Ifeanyi Nnaji of the National Emergency Management Agency said.

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Author: LAGOS, Nigeria

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