Friday, May 16, 2008


There was a pipeline explosion in Nigeria today.

Sometimes it's hard to imagine what you are learning new, reading the paper. What I learned today was something about repetition. The following is excerpted/interspersed from two NY Times articles.

May 15, 2008
LAGOS, Nigeria — More than 100 people were feared dead on Thursday after a construction vehicle struck an oil pipeline on the outskirts of Lagos, Nigeria’s biggest city, setting off an oil-fed inferno that spread to surrounding homes and a school.

May 13, 2006
ABUJA, Nigeria, May 12 — As many as 200 people were burned to death and dozens of others injured Friday morning when a gasoline pipeline exploded in a Nigerian seaside village some 30 miles east of the country's commercial capital, Lagos.

“The fire was very high,” said Johnson Fabunmi, a doctor who lives in the area. “Everyone was running for their life.”

Witnesses said the site was strewn with charred bodies and burned cans and buckets that the victims had been using to scoop up the gasoline, according to television reports and local journalists.

At least 45 people were killed in Lagos last December when the fuel they were siphoning from a buried pipeline caught fire. In December 2006, another pipeline ruptured by thieves caught fire, killing about 260. In May of that year, 150 died in pipeline explosion east of Lagos, and another such fire in 1998 killed 1,500 in southern Nigeria.

Oil pipeline explosions are not new to Nigeria. At least 1,000 people died in a similar explosion in the town of Jesse in the country's southeast in 1998.

The vast majority of Nigeria’s 130 million people live on less than $2 a day.

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