A key Nigeria pipeline operated by a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA, RDSA.LN) has caught fire following an oil spill, an eye witness and a local environmental activist said Thursday.
“The fire is on. I can see the smoke in the air,” said community leader Sylvester Kogbara, who chairs the council of chiefs and elders of Bodo, the community in the Eastern Niger Delta where the incident took place.
A spokesman for Shell said he was aware of an incident in Bodo but didn’t have any more details.
A trunk of the Trans-Niger Pipeline, which carries 150,000 barrels a day of oil through the Niger Delta to the Bonny terminal, suffered a spill early last week, Mr. Kogbara told the Wall Street Journal. But “Wednesday, it caught fire,” he said, wounding several workers at the site. The community leader added that to the best of his knowledge, the “oil is still flowing.”
Godwin Ojo, executive director of Environmental Rights Action, the Nigerian branch of Friends of the Earth, confirmed an explosion on the pipeline Wednesday in Bodo but said he didn’t know if it had caused any deaths.