The Police Command in Rivers has confirmed that 12 persons died in the early Friday morning explosion in Rumuekpe community of Emoha Local Government Area of the state.
The Spokesperson for the command, SP Grace Iringe-Koko, said in a statement in Port Harcourt that preliminary investigation idicated that the victims were scooping crude product when the site caught fire.
The News Agency of Nigeria NAN had earlier gathered that the explosion occurred as a bus loaded with some siphoned crude went up in flames, as it was leaving the spot for an illegal refinery in the area.
“So far about 12 persons are believed to have bee burnt to death. The identities of the victims are still unknown,” she stated.
Iringe-Koko also said that five vehicles and four tricycles were burnt to ashes at the explosion site.
Meanwhile, the command has admonished members of the public to stay away from illegal oil bunkering and contact it through telephone numbers, 08032003514 and 08098880134, to report any crime. (NAN)