Death toll unclear in Nigerian gas plant explosion

The blast happened on Thursday when a truck was discharging butane gas at the facility in Nnewi town.

The Nigerian flag flies in Lagos. Picture: AFP.

ONITSHA, Nigeria - The death toll from an explosion at a gas plant in southern Nigeria was unclear on Friday, with reports ranging from below 10 to around 100.

The blast happened on Thursday when a truck was discharging butane gas at the facility in Nnewi town in Anambra state while customers were refilling their gas bottles, residents said.

Police spokesman Ali Okechukwu said eight people had been confirmed dead, with six injured. Peter Kachi, a local Red Cross spokesman, said four people had been killed.

But a local journalist at the scene, David Onwuchekwa, said: "I saw around 100 charred corpses." Most of the dead were customers at the plants or people who lived nearby, he added.

An official at the state relief agency NEMA did not give a death toll, saying its workers were still assessing the site.