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Pipeline accidents have killed 3,000 people in Nigeria: official

Nov. 21, 2013 at 1:50 PM

KADUNA, Nigeria, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- Nearly 3,000 people have died and thousands wounded in at least 30 pipeline accidents in Nigeria in the last 15 years, says a petroleum industry official.

Bafred Enjugu, acting managing director of a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp., revealed the numbers during a workshop for company workers, Channel Television reported Wednesday.

An October 1998 pipeline fire killed more than 1,000 people in Delta State in the southeastern region of Nigeria, Enjugu said. Since then pipeline disasters have occurred in areas around the port city of Lagos as well as several other states, he said.

Nigeria loses billions of dollars each year from environmental and safety violations caused by human negligence, said Dr. Yahaya Ibrahim, a lecturer from the Department of Environmental Science at Kaduna Polytechnic.

He called on NNPC management to develop more technical ways of dealing with oil spills at its facilities.

Ibrahim added that weak laws and corruption had prevented Nigeria from enforcing international safety standards.

Enjugu said the company had recorded few oil spills and other accidents this year because of an increased focus on safety and health.

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