A pipeline explosion in Osisioma area of Abia State has killed 16 people.

The incident occurred on Friday.

The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC confirmed that the fire occurred along the Osisioma axis near the Aba depot and said emergency services had now been deployed to the scene.

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It added that production would be affected as they had to stop pumping oil on the line, although “not adversely” as they also transport crude by road.

“The incident might have been caused by suspected oil thieves who had hacked into the line to intercept the flow of petrol from Port Harcourt to Aba,” NNPC said in a statement.

Many oil spills in the southern oil production heartland of Nigeria are caused by theft and pipeline sabotage.

The methods used to steal the oil often result in accidents that cause fires and subsequent deaths.

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