At least 12 people were killed early Friday following an explosion from an oil pipeline in Nigeria's southern state of Rivers, the police said, APA reports citing Xinhua.
The explosion in the Rumuekpe community in the Emuoha local government area of Rivers occurred as local residents were scooping oil from an oil pipeline passing the community, said Grace Iringe-Koko, the spokesperson for the police in Rivers, in a statement.
"So far, at least 12 persons were believed to have been burned to death. The identities of the victims are unknown," Iringe-Koko said.
Some five vehicles and four tricycles, which were to be used by local people in the area to siphon fuel from the pipeline, were burned to ashes at the explosion site, said the police spokesperson.
According to reports by local media, the incident occurred in the early hours of Friday as a bus loaded with crude oil siphoned from the pipeline went up in flames while heading to an illegal refining point in the area, resulting in the explosion.
Oil pipeline vandalism and oil theft are frequently reported in Nigeria. Illegal oil refineries operate by tapping crude oil from pipelines and distilling it into products in improvised tanks.