At least 18 Indian workers were among the 23 killed in an LPG tanker blast at a ceramic factory in north Khartoum Sudan, the Press Trust of India reported on Wednesday, quoting the Indian High Commission in the country.
Over 130 people injured in the fire ignited by the explosion.
Around 68 Indians were working in the Salomi Ceramics Factory before the blast. Thirty four survived.
Eyewitnesses in the Sudanese capital said the tanker exploded while a shipment was being unloaded.
Doctors at Bahari Hospital in north Khartoum made an urgent appeal for all medical personnel to come to the hospital to help treat the burn victims.
“I could see in one [ward] seven injured and in another ward there were 12 injured, and all of them are in critical condition where they are unable to see or talk,” reporter Michael Atit told VOA’s South Sudan in Focus.
Atit said eyewitnesses told him the injured were people who had been sitting outside the factory and that “people who were in the factory, none of them survived, none of them actually came out.”
After the incident in the Bahri area in Sudan’s capital Khartoum, 16 Indians were found missing on Tuesday.
“As per latest reports, but so far not confirmed officially, 18 are dead,” the Indian Embassy said in a release.
“Some of the missing may be in the list of dead which we are still to receive as identification is not possible because of the bodies being burnt,” it added.
On Wednesday, the Indian embassy issued a detailed list of Indians who were hospitalised, went missing or survived the tragedy. As per its data, 7 people have been hospitalised, with four in critical condition.
A 42-year-old man, Obinna Adindu, was on Wednesday docked at a Federal High Court in Lagos, over a drug trafficking charge preferred against him by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
The defendant is standing trial on a one-count charge of allegedly exporting 1.62kg of heroin.
The Prosecutor, Mr. Abu Ibrahim, alleged that the defendant committed the offence on Oct. 12. He said that Adindu was arrested at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, during the outward clearance of passengers onboard a Lufthansa Airline flight to Frankfurt in Germany.
Ibrahim said that about 1.62kg of heroin was recovered from the defendant during clearance.
According to the prosecutor, heroin is a narcotic listed in the NDLEA schedule as restricted by law and trafficking in same contravenes the provisions of Section 11(c) of the NDLEA Act, Cap N30 Laws of the Federation, 2004.
The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Justice Liman granted him bail in the sum of N3 million with two sureties in like sum. He adjourned the case until Feb. 5, 2020 for trial.
The Managing Director of Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production, Victor Okonkwo said on Wednesday that the company has lost about four million barrels of crude to oil theft this year.
Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production is the operator of Oil Mining Leases (OML) 29.
Okoronkwo disclosed this on the sidelines of the ongoing Practical Nigerian Content Exhibition and Conference in Lagos.
The theme of the conference is: “Leveraging Local Expertise for Market Growth and Expansion.”
Okoronkwo regretted that attacks by oil thieves on the 117 kilometer Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL) has adversely affected crude export from the oilfields in Bayelsa which had been shut for two months this year.
He regretted that despite the enormous investment in technology and security on the assets, the sabotage was yet to abate, adding that the development required a decisive action by all stakeholders.
He noted that the losses in oil output caused by oil theft were responsible for revenue shortfalls expected by the three tiers of government.
Okonkwo said: “One of the biggest challenges we face in our operations is the security of our pipelines and oil facilities.
“Our pipelines and flow-lines are constantly vandalized by unscrupulous elements tagged ‘crude oil thieves’ attempting to cause economic sabotage to our company and the people of this great country.
“Despite our efforts in raising NCTL uptime from 60 percent to over 80 percent since acquisition, we have recorded more shutdown days in operations due to third party infractions for over two months this year, compared to previous years.
“This has resulted in loss of revenue and deferments estimated at about 4 million barrels so far this year.
“Also worrying is the amount of crude loss recorded even when the pipeline is operational, usually in the range of 25 to 35 percent.
“More worrisome is that even when the perpetrators of these acts are caught and handed over to security agencies, we are yet to witness any convictions.”