Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 18 September 2019

Death toll from Tanzania fuel lorry blast rises to 95

Many others suffered severe injuries and burns

Rescuers remove burnt motorbikes from the scene. Reuters
Rescuers remove burnt motorbikes from the scene. Reuters

The death toll from a fuel lorry explosion in Tanzania has climbed to 95, a hospital spokesman said on Sunday.

A fireball engulfed a crowd gathered to collect petrol from an overturned tanker last Saturday near the town of Morogoro, about 200 kilometres west of Dar es Salaam, the financial capital.

The tanker overturned when it swerved to miss a motorcycle.

The explosion killed dozens and others were taken to hospital with burns and serious injuries in one of the deadliest oil tanker blasts in Africa in recent years.

“Another death took place last night. It was a man who succumbed to his injuries,” said Aminiel Aligaesha, a spokesman for the National Hospital in Dar es Salaam.

On Saturday, Tanzanian authorities reported there had been 94 deaths.

Officials said the explosion was triggered when a man tried to retrieve the lorry’s battery, making sparks that ignited the fuel.

It was the latest in a string of such disasters in Africa and at least the third this year.

Last month, 45 people were killed and more than 100 injured in central Nigeria when a petrol tanker crashed, then exploded as people tried to take the fuel.

In May, a similar incident in Niger killed almost 80 people.

Updated: August 19, 2019 09:41 AM

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