Scores of people are believed dead after a pipeline explosion in southern Nigeria, according to local officials.
The Associated Press reported on Saturday that more than 50 people were missing, a day after the early-morning explosion of the Nembe Creek pipeline in Bayelsa State.
Aiteo, the company that owns the pipeline, has said no lives were lost in the explosion.
But a spokesman for the indigenous groups in the area, Chief Nengi James-Eriworio, told reporters that many people, including children, are missing. He said the fumes from the flames are contaminating the air and fishing waters in the area.
He called on the Nigerian government to respond and investigate the incident.
Aiteo Exploration Ltd. announced that the fire, which ignited about 4 a.m. local time Friday, was finally extinguished on Saturday with no loss of life. James-Eriworio contradicts, this claim, however, saying the fire was still burning and it is feared there are dozens of fatalities.