May 23, 2022

Dozens of charred our bodies had been buried in mass graves on Tuesday in Nigeria’s Imo state because the stench of decomposing flesh hung within the air after greater than 100 folks had been killed throughout a weekend explosion at an unlawful oil refinery.

A bunch of males, some naked chested and with out footwear, used shovels to dig three graves on the web site of the explosion, a swampy open house surrounded by burnt out automobiles and palm bushes.

Earlier than the burial, two native well being officers fumigated the location and surrounding space.

With solely plastic and flip flops masking their ft, males used makeshift stretchers to dump our bodies in shallow graves, which rapidly full of water. No physique baggage had been used.

“Due to the explosion right here the corpses can’t be recognized. His excellency, the governor mandated us to ensure that we should always bury these that can not be recognized by their relations,” mentioned Marcel Amadioha, a md of the Ohaji-Egbema native authorities space of Imo state.

Amadioha mentioned some relations had managed to say some our bodies and took them for burial however greater than 50 had been unclaimed.

Ezechukwe Eze, an area chief, poured gin on the bottom, saying this was meant to appease gods of the land and stop future disasters.

Following the explosion, the worst since October, President Muhammadu Buhari mentioned he would intensify the clampdown on unlawful refineries, one thing earlier governments have carried out with little success.

Unemployment and poverty within the oil producing Niger Delta means 1000’s of Nigerians proceed to see unlawful refining as a way of financial survival, however usually with lethal penalties. Crude oil is tapped from an internet of pipelines owned by main oil firms and refined in makeshift tanks.

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The method has led to deadly accidents and polluted a area already blighted by oil spills in farmland, creeks and lagoons for many years.

Authorities officers estimate that Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer and exporter, loses a mean of 200,000 barrels of oil per day, greater than 10% of manufacturing, to theft or vandalised of pipelines.

(Writing by MacDonald Dzirutwe; Enhancing by Sandra Maler)