Saturday 24 August 2019

Dozens killed as fuel tanker explodes in Tanzania

Witnesses said many of the victims had been trying to siphon fuel after the tanker was involved in an accident.

Fire fighters try to extinguish the blaze (AP)
Fire fighters try to extinguish the blaze (AP)

By Associated Press Reporters

A damaged tanker truck has exploded in Tanzania as people were trying to siphon fuel out of it, killing at least 62, in one of the worst incidents of its kind in the east African country.

Citing police figures, state broadcaster KBC said at least 70 more were injured in the incident early on Saturday in the eastern town of Morogoro.

Regional police commissioner Steven Kabwe told the local Azam TV that many suffered serious burns.

Tanzanian government spokesman Hassan Abbasi said news of the deaths was “received with sadness”, adding: “We send our condolences to the families, relatives and friends.”

Witnesses in Morogoro, about 120 miles from Tanzania’s economic hub of Dar es Salaam, said scores of people had gathered around the fuel tanker after it was involved in an accident. They said people were trying to siphon away fuel when the tanker burst into flames.

Incidents of people being killed in explosions while stealing fuel from incapacitated tankers are common in east Africa.

In 2013, a similar incident killed at least 29 people on the outskirts of the Ugandan capital Kampala as scores swarmed around the scene of an accident.

PA Media

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