Governor Theodore Orji
About 20 persons have so far been confirmed dead in Abia State following a fire outbreak from a broken petroleum pipeline.
The deceased were burnt alive while try scooping the fuel at the scene of the incident, at Umueke village in Osisioma local government area.
The Chief Press Secretary to the state governor, Chief Theordore Orji, Ugochukwu Emezue, Monday said the fire happened September 23, but it took days for the information to reach officials.
Pipeline ruptures remain common in the country as militants and criminals routinely tap into lines to steal crude oil and refined petroleum products.
Fires can easily and accidentally be sparked by those attempting to gather the fuel.
In September, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had confirmed that suspected thieves shot dead three of its workers in Arepo, Ogun State after rupturing a pipeline to steal fuel.