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Gas Explosion In Nigeria Reportedly Kills At Least 100 People On Christmas Eve

The facility was crowded with those seeking to refill their gas cooking canisters, one witness said.

Posted on December 25, 2015, at 12:46 a.m. ET

An explosion at a gas facility in southeast Nigeria killed more than 100 people who were waiting to refill their cooking canisters on Christmas Eve, the Associated Press reported.

The explosion took place at the Chicason Group-owned gas plant at about 11 a.m. in the predominantly Christian community of Nnewi.

One witness told the AP the explosion was sparked when a gas tanker left a discharge station without waiting to observe the prescribed cooling time.

That's when Emeka Peters said the fire "exploded like a bomb," setting off an inferno that raged for hours before firefighters could bring it under control.

An Associated Press reporter at the scene counted the charred remains of more than 100 corpses. Many of the remains and badly injured were taken to the Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital in Nnewi, which posted graphic photos of the carnage to its Facebook page.

"Many of them were burned beyond recognition, and I doubt if many family members of the dead victims would be able to identify the remains of their loved ones," Peters told the AP.

The Chicason Group did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News' request for comment.