STORY: A blast at an illegal oil refinery in southern Nigeria on Monday has killed dozens of people, including two pregnant women.
That’s according to a local security official and community leader.
The explosion took place in Rivers State.
Illegal refining is common in the country’s oil-rich Niger Delta region.
Impoverished locals tap pipelines to make fuel to sell for a profit.
But the practice is often deadly.
Nigeria has tried to clamp down on illegal refineries for years, but without much success.
Local environmental groups say part of the problem is that powerfully connected politicians and security officials are involved.
Oil theft is one of the factors pushing major companies operating in Nigeria to shift their focus to deep water operations.