WORLD PRESS PHOTO 2007: 1st PRIZE SPOT NEWS SINGLE

  • A Nigerian rinses soot from his face at the scene of a petroleum gas pipeline
    explosion near Nigeria's commercial capital Lagos, Tuesday, December 26, 2006.
  • A ruptured petroleum pipeline burst into flames while scavengers were collecting fuel from the underground pipeline punctured overnight by an armed gang who siphoned fuel into road tankers, leaving behind a stream of stray petroleum gasoline for hundreds of resident scavengers. The Red Cross said the fire killed at least 269 people and injured dozens that were trapped and burnt on the ground next to a ramshackle automobile workshop and a saw-mill in the densely populated district of Abule-Egba, an outskirt of Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos.
  • Nigeria, Africa oil giant, is the eight largest producer of crude oil in the world and its earnings soared by the rise in the world market, allowing it to build up to 40 billion US Dollars by the end of 2006; but it is also one of the world poorest countries with a large number of its 140 million people enduring extreme poverty amid widespread graft that makes a handful of people wealthy.
    This inequality motivates those who sabotage oil pipelines and the villagers who pilfer the fuel for sale in the black market where it is sold three-fold.
  • While the response of the emergency fire service equipped with leaking water hoses
    delayed, other villagers assisted in using water collected in buckets, to subdue the fire that lasted four hours.

Akintunde Akinleye
Reuters,
Lagos, Nigeria