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Gas Tanker Inferno Kills More Than 100 People In Nigeria

A tanker truck ignited an inferno at an industrial gas plant in Nigeria, killing more than 100 people who had lined up to refill their cooking gas cylinders December 24.

The disaster took place in Nnewi, a predominantly Christian community in southeast Nigeria. By the time firefighters managed to put out the blaze, an Associated Press reporter counted the charred remains of more than 100 corpses.

A witness, Emeka Peters, told AP that the fire broke out when a tanker truck that had finished discharging fresh gas at a local plant left without waiting to observe the prescribed cooling time.

"The fire exploded like a bomb, and the whole gas station went up in thick, black smoke amidst an explosion from cooking gas cylinders," Peters said.

"Many people were killed, and most of them were those that had been in the station queuing all day to get their cylinders refilled."

He said the fire raged for hours.

Peters, 36, said most of the corpses and a few badly injured victims were evacuated to a hospital in Nnewi.

Based on reporting by AP and dpa