The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has disclosed that the death toll in Sunday’s illegal refinery explosion in Abaeze community Ohaji/Egbema Local Government of Imo had risen to 110.
Acting Head of the Imo/Abia Operations Office of the agency, Mr Ifeanyi Nnaji, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday.
Nnaji said more dead bodies were recovered in Orashi River, near the scene of the incident on Sunday, while some died at various hospitals to increase the total casualty figure so far.
NAN reports that an illegal refinery situated at the Abaeze forest in Ohaji/Egbema Local Government exploded on Saturday and killed no fewer than 100 people.
Emergency workers in Imo led by Nnaji had been on the ground since the incident to carry out rescue operations and evacuate dead bodies.
The NEMA boss further disclosed to NAN that arrangements were on to carry out the mass burial of the corpses.
When asked about the cause of the disaster, Nnaji said “we are yet to ascertain what led to the fire disaster.
“Those who should tell the story and give insight to the incident are all dead, we are still on the ground, we will soon come out with a report on the incident”, he said.
Nnaji further appealed to the government to create the enabling environment for genuine business to flourish within the oil-producing communities in Imo, to discourage youths from engaging in illegal activities.
He also appealed to oil companies in the area to assist the government in job creation for their host communities.