IJE ODODO, Nigeria – Thieves who wanted to steal gasoline from a pipeline running near Nigeria's megacity of Lagos have sparked a massive fire.
The fire began Monday in Ije Ododo, in a swampy mangrove forest in the western fringe of the sprawling city of Lagos. On Thursday, firefighters sprayed water around the site, trying to stop the fire from spreading. The ground turned to a foul-smelling mud, with puddles of fuel and dirt looking red.
Pipeline ruptures remain common in Nigeria, an oil-rich nation where militants and criminals routinely tap into lines to steal crude oil and refined gasoline.
While the government criticizes those stealing from the lines, it often remains the only quick way to make money in a nation where most earn the equivalent of a $1 day.