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Nearly 100 killed in Nigeria blast after scramble for spilled tanker fuel

LAGOS, Nigeria -- Ninety-five people died after a fuel tanker crashed into other vehicles, caught fire and exploded, a Nigerian government agency said Thursday.

Most of the victims had rushed to the truck to scoop fuel in Okobe, a town in the oil-rich Rivers State in the south of the country, a spokesman for the emergency management agency said. Yushau Shuaib added at least 18 others were injured.

"We have cordoned off the area to ensure that miscreants do not take laws into their hands. We also want to know what exactly caused the inferno,’" Ben Ugwuegbulam, spokesman of the Rivers Police Command, told the Daily Times Nigeria.

Blasts hit northern Nigeria churches

AFP - Getty Images

People gather at the scene where a Nigerian oil tanker tipped over and pools of spilled oil caught fire in Okogbe on Thursday.

The tanker crashed into three other vehicles while traveling on an east-west road, the Daily Times reported, citing the Federal Road Safety Commission.

The tanker did not immediately burst into flames after the collision, the paper said, and many people scrambled to the scene to collect fuel. 

The West African nation of Nigeria is a top exporter of crude to the United States and other countries.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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