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Just in: Fatalities in Rivers illegal refinery fire rise to 39

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Another 39 people have been consumed in an illegal oil refining site fire at Ibaa forest in Emuoha council area of Rivers State.

According to the Chief Security Officer of the community, Chief Rufus Waleke, it is yet another disaster as recalcitrant illegal bunkerers have wasted their lives.

He said despite the warnings of the community head and the state government, the oil thieves have continued with their activities.

Per Second News gathered that the inferno was caused by a local refinery cooking pot constructed close to an oil reservoir which contained combustible materials.

“The temperature became too high and the environment was gutted by fire.

“At the peak of when the illegal refining was ongoing, it caught fire and the fire burnt everybody involved; 35 died on the spot and four died in the hospital in the early hours of Tuesday,” he said.

Persecond News had earlier reported that no fewer than 12 people were confirmed dead following pipeline explosion from an illegal oil bunkering site in Rumuekpe community, Rivers State in April 2023.

According to to the state police command’s spokesperson, DSP Grace Iringe-Koko, preliminary investigation indicates that the victims were scooping crude products when the site caught fire.

Five vehicles, four tricycles and one motorcycle were also burnt in the fire.

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