"The fire involved five petrol tankers. Residents were rushing to scoop fuel but were stopped by members of the military," spokesman of National Emergency Management Agency Yushau Shuaib told PTI.
He could not confirm the casualty figure. But, local Daily Trust newspaper said that 30 people were burnt to death while trapped within the area where the tankers went ablaze after an explosion at Abuloma waterside and Rumuokehi in the southern city of Port Harcourt in oil rich Rivers State.
Fire fighters battled to put off the fire while members of the NEMA rescued five persons from the inferno, the paper reported. Last week, a similar fire incident killed 200 in the same state.
Fuel leaks and oil tanker accidents in Nigeria often draw huge crowds scrambling to scoop fuel, resulting in many deaths due to accidental fires.
Many hundreds of people have died over the last decade when trying to take fuel leaking from pipelines that have broken or been vandalised by oil thieves. Nigeria is a major oil exporter but millions of its citizens live in poverty.