Red Cross: Second Nigerian Oil Blast Report a False Alarm

The Red Cross said Thursday that a government official's report of a second pipeline explosion in a poor Lagos neighborhood was mistaken.

Nigerian Red Cross official Ige Oladimeji said once officials got to the site in a northern neighborhood of Nigeria's largest city, they found no pipeline explosion or fire. The new scare came two days after a blast hit a pipeline in Lagos as scavengers collected fuel spilling from the conduit, leaving 265 people dead.

Earlier on Thursday, Adeola Adefolabi, a Lagos government official, said a pipeline caught fire and exploded in a northern neighborhood in the city.

Click here for's Africa Center.

Witnesses later said a cooking fire in the same neighborhood may have led to the confusion.

Nigeria is Africa's leading oil producer, but mismanagement and corruption has hit the refining sector, causing chronic fuel shortages. Tapping into the pipes that often traverse populated areas is a common practice in the country, where black-market fuel sells for more than ten times the filling-station price.