The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) says the death toll in the illegal refinery explosion in Abaeze community Ohaji/Egbema Local Government of Imo has risen to 110.
Acting head of the Imo/Abia operations office of the agency, Ifeanyi Nnaji, told journalists that more dead bodies were recovered in Orashi River, near the scene on Sunday, while some died at various hospitals to increase the total casualty figure so far.
The NEMA boss further said arrangements were underway for mass burial of the victims.
Emergency workers in Imo, led by Mr Nnaji, had been on the ground since the incident to carry out rescue operations and evacuate dead bodies.
An illegal refinery situated at the Abaeze forest in Ohaji/Egbema local government exploded on Saturday and killed no fewer than 100 people.
Mr Nnaji said the agency had yet to figure out what led to the fire disaster.
“Those who should tell the story and give insight into the incident are all dead. We are still on the ground. We will soon come out with a report on the incident,” stated the NEMA head.
Mr Nnaji further appealed to the government to create an enabling environment for genuine business to flourish within the oil-producing communities in Imo to discourage youths from engaging in illegal activities.
He also appealed to oil companies in the area to assist the government in job creation for their host communities.