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Nine killed in Nnewi gas plant blast

28 December 2015, 06:39

Lagos - Nine people were killed and three others remain in critical condition after a huge Christmas Eve blast at an industrial gas plant in Nnewi, officials said on Sunday.

A colossal inferno was triggered around noon on Thursday, engulfing the city of Nnewi in clouds of billowing black smoke and leaving some of the victims charred beyond recognition.

A 68-year-old woman died on Saturday morning "due to excessive inhalation of toxic fumes, bringing the death total to nine," National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) spokesperson James Eze told AFP.

Three other people, including a seven-month pregnant woman, remain in hospital receiving treatment.

Also Read: Pipeline explodes in Effurun

President Muhammadu Buhari had said in a press statement Friday that "tens" of people had died in the catastrophic explosion, but presidency spokesman Garba Shehu could not confirm that number.

"I am not in a position to say," Shehu said to AFP.

Explosions are common in the country, where fuel is distributed with poorly maintained trucks on potholed roads.

Earlier in December, a tanker loaded with fuel exploded in a crowded Lagos neighbourhood, setting off a fire that injured several residents and decimated nearby vehicles and houses.



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