A truck carrying oil overturned and exploded in Nigeria on Friday, killing at least a dozen people, and as many as 60, according to news reports. Another 22 people reportedly suffered burn injuries and were taken to local hospitals.
The blast occurred in Odukpani in the southeast part of the country.
Many of those killed were scooping up fuel leaking from the overturned vehicle when it exploded. This type of accident has claimed the lives of hundreds of people in recent years and is emblematic of the poverty that causes people to risk their lives to collect oil leaking from pipelines or trucks. More than a thousand people were killed in Nigeria in an incident in 1998, when the leaking oil pipeline from which they were scooping fuel exploded in the town of Jesse.
Officials did not release information about what caused the truck to overturn and explode, although the blast may have caused by an electrical generator that had been brought to the scene to pump fuel from the truck.
Nigeria is Africa’s largest oil producer.