Abuja [Nigeria]: The death toll from an explosion last Friday at an illegal refinery in south Nigeria’s Imo state has risen to 110, local authorities said on Monday.
Addressing reporters in Owerri, the state capital, Ifeanyi Nnaji, head of the National Emergency Management Agency’s operations office in Imo, said the remains of more victims have been recovered near the scene of the blast in a forest in the Egbema local government area, and that more victims died in hospital.
Arrangements are being made to carry out a mass burial of the deceased, he said.
Nnaji called for enabling environment for genuine business to flourish in the oil-producing communities in Imo and to discourage youths from engaging in illegal activities.
He also urged oil companies in the area to help the government create jobs for their host communities.
In a statement issued on Sunday, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the country’s armed forces, security and intelligence agencies to intensify the clampdown on illegal refineries to safeguard the lives of citizens. (ANI/Xinhua)