25 Dec 2015

Dozens dead after Nigerian gas plant explosion

7:22 pm on 25 December 2015

Scores of people are reported killed in an explosion at an industrial gas plant in south-eastern Nigeria.

A truck is said to have exploded as it was off-loading butane cooking gas in the town of Nnewi in Anambra State.

Reports of casualties vary from 35 to more than 100 people killed, including factory workers and neighbours.

Local police have confirmed the incident but have yet to provide further details. A huge fire reportedly followed the blast.

The dead and injured were taken to the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital in Nnewi which has a predominantly Christian community.

Witness Chukwuemerie Uduchukwu, who has been to the scene of the blast, told the BBC that people had gone to the plant to fill up gas bottles ready to cook meals on Christmas day.

He said customers and workers in the building had been burned beyond recognition and that he had seen a dozen bodies brought out, with many more thought to be inside.

Such was the ferocity of the blast that houses nearby were also damaged.