Fri, 06 Dec 2019

Dozens burnt to death by exploding fuel tanker on Tanzanian highway

By Jay Jackson, Middle East News.Net
12 Aug 2019, 00:08 GMT+10

DODOMA, Tanzania - An investigation is underway into the explosion of a fuel tanker in the east African nation of Tanzania on Saturday.

At least sixty-four people are known to have died in the blast, and more than 70 others have been injured.

Some of those killed were burned beyod recognition. Charred bodies were being pulled from the exploded wreckage.

The tanker is believed to have overturned and people had rushed to it to try and siphon fuel. It was at this point that the tanker exploded.

The incident took place on a major highway in the Morogoro region, about 175 kilometres west of the port city of Dar es Salaam.

A convoy of ambulances transported the injured to the Muhimbili Hospital in Dar es Salaam. Those that were more critically injured were airlifted to the hospital.

Burials of the victims began on Sunday.

"The fire was huge and it was challenging to rescue victims. I have seen about 65 to 70 people being rescued because the fire was fast spreading across the accident area," witness Daniel Ngogo told the Reuters Thomson news agency.

"The situation is really bad. Many people died, here even those who were not stealing fuel because this is a busy place," he added.

Local Police Chief Willbrod Mtafungwa said many of those killed were motorbike taxi drivers, a BBC report said.

Tanzanian President John Magufuli declared the three days of mourning and pleaded with people to stop risking their lives to steal petrol.

"There are vehicles that carry dangerous fuel oil, as in this case in Morogoro, there are others that carry toxic chemicals or explosives, let's stop this practice, please," AFP news agency quoted him as saying.

Last month at least 45 people were killed when a crashed fuel tanker exploded in Nigeria's northern Benue state, a BBC report said.

Nearly eighty people were killed in May in a similar incident near the airport of Niger's capital Niamey.

(Photo credit: CNN).

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