At least 62 people burned to death after fuel tanker explosion in Tanzania

Saturday 10th August 2019 13:00 BST

Witnesses said scores of people had gathered around the tanker to siphon fuel before the blast on Saturday morning.

According to local media, at least 70 more have been injured following the incident in Morogoro - and many of them have suffered serious burns.

Footage from before the explosion showed a large crowd collecting liquid from puddles in jerry cans.

Daniel Ngogo, who witnessed the blast, told Reuters: "The fire was huge and it was challenging to rescue victims.

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

Morogogo lies about 120 miles west of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania's economic capital.

This is one of the worst incidents of its kind in the East African country, with Tanzania's President John Magufuli saying he is "shocked and saddened".

Incidents of people being killed in explosions while stealing fuel from incapacitated tankers are common in the region - and those who take the fuel usually hope to be able to sell it cheaply to motorists.

In 2013, a similar incident killed at least 29 people in the Ugandan capital of Kampala, as many people gathered at the scene of an accident.

Officials have said the Tanzanian government is participating in the salvage operation "to ensure we bury the bodies... relatives identify the bodies of their loved ones, and those injured get proper treatment".

Road safety experts are urging leaders to educate people on the risks of taking fuel from damaged tankers.

Now On Air
More Music on Coast FM
More music on Coast FM