A fire on a pipeline owned by Nigeria’s state oil company in Lagos killed three people, a Reuters witness said.
The blaze broke out in the Abule-Egba district of the megacity. Residents said it started shortly before 8 pm.
A Reuters television camera operator saw three dead bodies at the scene. The fire burned nearby houses and vehicles.
Another witness, resident Ayo Adewale, said there were “many dead people”. Reuters was unable to verify the claim.
Fires on pipelines in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest crude oil producer, are often caused by theft and sabotage. The methods used to steal oil often result in accidents causing fires.
“People were running and I was asking what this happening, then I got near and they said pipeline vandals did this,” said Adewale.
Oluwafemi Damilola, director general of Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), said he and his team were told “undesirable elements vandalised the pipeline”.
It was not immediately clear what, if any, impact the pipeline fire would have on the operations of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
NNPC spokesman Samson Makoji said the state oil company was assessing the situation.