Egypt says looting attempt causes oil pipeline fire; 7 dead

CAIRO (AP) — Egyptian officials say an oil pipeline caught fire when thieves tried to tap into it to siphon off gasoline in the Nile Delta province of Beheira, and at least seven people were killed.

Health ministry spokesman Ahmed Megahed says the fire Wednesday in the Itay el-Barud district also injured at least 16 other people, who were taken to nearby hospitals for treatment.

Egypt’s petroleum ministry says the looters caused a leak when they tapped into the pipeline, spilling gasoline into the nearby area, including down a drain. The fuel then caught fire.

Authorities in Beheira say firefighters took at least three hours to extinguish the blaze.

Footage posted online shows flames rising into the sky and people trying to put out the fire.