No fewer than 35 people have been burnt to death at an illegal oil refining site in Rivers State.
The incident is reported to have happened at Ibaa Community, Emohua Local Government Area of the state.
It was gathered that there was fire outbreak at the illegal site late Sunday night and that all the people numbering over 45 who were there were affected.
A source in the community, Emmanuel Daniel, said the victims had gone to trade on the petroleum product before the fire ignited from a refining site.
Daniel noted that people from Isiokpo Kingdom in Ikwerre Local Government Area, Ibaa and Oduoha in Emohua LGA, were affected.
Daniel narrated: “More than 40 people were there at the site. They were there scooping and bagging crude oil when the fire caught.
“The fire came from a refining site that is close to the point where they were bagging the crude.
“Many Isiokpo and Oduoha people and Ibaa people were there. Seven of the people died inside the pit where they were scooping the crude. About 10 were burnt to charcoal by the pit.
“About 30 people died at the site while over 15 have even rushed to the hospital. I hear that three of them have died while they were being rushed to the hospital.”
However, at press time, police could not confirm the development as the Police Public Relations Officer of the state Command, Grace Iringe-Koko, a Superintendent of Police, said she would get back to our reporter later.