Death toll has risen to 24 following a petrol pipeline explosion in Osisioma local government area of Abia State in southern Nigeria, local police said on Saturday.
Abia police chief Anthony Ogbizi said five more deaths were recorded as victims who had various degrees of burns battled for survival following the explosion in two villages of the state on Friday.
Ogbizi blamed the explosion on a spillage from a pipeline that was undergoing maintenance, saying further investigation had been launched on the incident.
On Friday, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps accused some youths in the area of scooping petroleum products from vandalized pipelines.
The past few years had witnessed a string of pipeline explosions in Nigeria. Some of such incidents happened as locals tried to siphon fuel from the pipelines.
According to reports, at least 150 people were killed in a pipeline explosion on May 12, 2006, in a village to the east of Lagos, the country’s economic hub, while locals were drilling into it.