Dozens have been killed in an explosion at a gas plant in southern Nigeria, the presidency said on Friday. However the exact number of people who died remains unclear.
Reports indicate the source of fire was a truck discharging butane gas at the facility in Nnewi town in Anambra state on Thursday which later went up into flames.
Eye witnesses say quite a number of customers had gathered there to refill their gas cylinders on Christmas Eve.
Tens of people who had been looking forward to their Christmas celebrations were killed.
Reuters reports, President Muhammadu Buhari’s office said “tens of people” who had been looking forward to their Christmas celebrations were killed . But did not give the exact number of people who died in the explosion.
“My heart and prayers go out to these grieving families at this difficult and painful moment,” President Muhammadu Buhari said in a statement.
Explosion at chicason gas plant Nnewi pic.twitter.com/O3a9IjlzFE— Mcdonald ezenwa (@makavelli49) December 24, 2015
One local journalist at the scene, David Onwuchekwa, said: “I saw around 100 charred corpses.”
Chicason gas plant explosion pic.twitter.com/c3SuwgaB2b— Mcdonald ezenwa (@makavelli49) December 24, 2015
Most of the dead were customers at the plant or people who lived nearby, he added.
Carl Ofuonye, another local journalist, said the blast had been sparked when the truck exploded while discharging gas.
“So many people were in the building, workers at the plant, people who came to buy gas,” he said. “A woman and a child in a nearby building died.”
Several others also sustained various degrees of injuries and were being treated for burns at nearby hospitals.