Sixty killed, 70 injured in Tanzania tanker explosion


No fewer than 60 people were killed in Tanzania on Saturday when a fuel tanker overturned and burst into flame.

Dozens of locals had rushed to scoop leaking fuel from the tanker before it exploded.

The blast  which happened near the town of Morogoro, west of the economic capital Dar es Salaam also left more than 70 others with various degrees of burn.

Morogoro governor Stephen Kebwe who confirmed the casualty figure however warned that the toll could rise with victims possibly trapped under the truck.

The governor said the explosion was triggered when a man tried to pull out the truck’s battery, while witnesses said one of the people looting the fuel was smoking a cigarette.

“The Morogoro region had never experienced a disaster of such magnitude,” Kebwe told reporters at the scene in the locality of Msamvu, about 200 kilometres (125 miles) west of Dar es Salaam.

“We have mobilised all the doctors at the Morogoro regional hospital so the wounded can be treated,” he added.

Regional Police Chief Willbrod Mtafungwa told reporters there was a “huge explosion” after the vehicle overturned.

Mtafungwa said the dead were mainly drivers of the taxis known as “boda-boda” and local residents flocking to the scene for the fuel after the crash.

Properties and vehicles were also destroyed in the blast.

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