**Nigeria gas blast kills people lining up to refill cylinders for Christmas **
Massive explosion sparked by butane tanker at gas plant in Nnewi in south-east Nigeria
A butane tanker ignited a huge explosion at a crowded industrial plant in Nigeria on Thursday, killing “tens of people” who were lining up to refill their cooking gas cylinders in time for Christmas, the presidency said.
The disaster took place in Nnewi, a predominantly Christian city in south-east Nigeria.
“My heart and prayers go out to these grieving families at this difficult and painful moment,” President Muhammadu Buhari said in a statement.
A witness, Emeka Peters, said the fire broke out at about 11am when a lorry that had finished discharging fresh gas at the Chikason Group Gas plant left without waiting to observe the prescribed cooling time.
“The fire exploded like a bomb and the whole gas station went up in thick, black smoke amidst an explosion from cooking gas cylinders,” Peters said. “Many people were killed and most of them were those that had been in the station queuing all day to get their cylinders refilled.”
Explosions related to oil and gas are not unheard of in Nigeria. It is tragic when this happens to any community but with the violence in the North of Nigeria, it is sad, this likely accident and explosion occurred against Christians in the South. Sad to think, this was happening mainly to people getting gas so they could cook for Christmas.
Emeka Peters, said the fire broke out at about 11am when a lorry that had finished discharging fresh gas at the Chikason Group Gas plant left without waiting to observe the prescribed cooling time.
The “prescribed cooling time”; sounds like these are the kinds of problems that happen to the poor of the world. What a tragedy and it is possibly avoidable as well.
Some say 100 killed, other sources saying 8 killed.
Meanwhile, the police au*thorities, have faulted earlier casualty figure, which was put at over 100 by the media.
The Anambra command said that eight people died in the explosion, describing as false, the “alarming and misleading figure” of over100.
“After the incident, six persons were confirmed dead outside the perimeter fencing of the company,” he said.