updated 5/13/2007 7:59:03 PM ET 2007-05-13T23:59:03

A traffic accident involving three passenger buses left at least 25 people dead Sunday in southern Nigeria, police said.

One of the vehicles burst in a fireball after the crash in the southern city of Port Harcourt, indicating it was transporting jerrycans of fuel as well as people, said a Rivers State police spokeswoman, Irejua Barasua.

She gave no further details on the crash.

Traffic accidents are common in deeply impoverished Nigeria, where many roads are poorly maintained, routes are often crowded and almost never lit at night.

Few drivers have been trained in automobile operation, vehicles are often in an advanced state of disrepair and eyeglasses are too expensive for many who would need them.

Many Nigerians travel in the tightly packed buses that ply roads in the vast nation of 140 million people, most of whom live in deep poverty despite the oil wealth generated in Africa's largest petroleum producer.

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