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Saturday, 28 February, 1998, 02:08 GMT
Oil explosion in Ecuador kills eleven

At least eleven people are now known to have died when an oil pipeline exploded in the Ecuadorean town of Esmeraldas.

The explosion followed an oil leak, and sent a ball of flames through a neighbouring community, destroying many houses and spilling oil into a nearby river.

Around seventypeople were injured, some with severe burns.

Initial reports said the damage was caused by a mudslide, but the BBC South America correspondent says the oil installations in Esmeraldas belong to a state-run company criticised for inadequate safety standards.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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