File image of an explosion.
Explosion at an illegal fuel depot in Cotonou, the Republic of Benin, has killed 34 people.
A government official confirmed the incident to newsmen today, Saturday.
The government official said no fewer than 34 people were killed when a contraband fuel dump burst into flames in southern Benin near the border with Nigeria.
“A serious fire occurred in the town of Seme Podji,” Interior Minister, Alassane Seidou told reporters.
“Unfortunately we have 34 deaths including two babies. Their bodies are charred because the cause of the fire is smuggled fuel.”
The minister said another 20 people were being treated in hospital, including some in a serious condition.
Nigeria is a major oil and gas producer and fuel smuggling is common along its borders, especially when the government maintained a subsidy to keep petrol prices low.