Pope Francis, through Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, sent the following telegram of condolences to Msgr. Augustine Kasuja, apostolic nuncio in Abuya, following the tragic accident that occurred in the Nigerian city of Nnewi when a truck exploded in a gas plant.
''The Holy Father was deeply saddened to learn of the tragic explosion at a gas plant in Nnewi, in which so many people died or were seriously injured. He sends heartfelt condolences to the relatives of the deceased and injured, to the authorities and to the entire Nation. His Holiness, commending the souls of the departed to the tender mercy of God, invokes the abundant divine gifts of consolation and strength upon those who mourn and upon all who have been affected by this tragedy.''
It is stillunclear how many died in the blast, which happened on Christmas Eve. The explosion and resulting fire occurred as residents gathered to buy cooking gas.