At least 23 killed, over 130 injured as massive fire engulfs factory in Sudan

WION Web Team Khartoum, Sudan Dec 03, 2019, 11.26 PM(IST) Edited By: Abhilash Mahajan

Flames and smoke coming out from a factory in Khartoum, Sudan Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

The police cordoned off the entire area and the firefighters are still continuing their efforts to douse the flames. 

At least 23 people were killed and more than 130 injured as fire broke out after an explosion in a ceramics factory in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on Tuesday, officials said. 

The explosion of the oil tanker while getting unloaded caused thick layers of black smoke billowing into the sky and videos showed people running and shouting for help at the site of the accident. 

The police cordoned off the entire area and the firefighters are still continuing their efforts to douse the flames. 

"A fire erupted in an industrial area because of which 23 people were killed and more than 130 injured," the cabinet said in a statement. The government also said that the fires completely destroyed the factory.

The cabinet also said that preliminary inquiry suggests that necessary safety equipment required were missing from the factory. It further said that the inflammable materials were not stored properly which caused the fire to spread. The government has also said that an investigation has also been initiated.

"I don't understand what happened, I heard a blast and ran. One man in a galabeya (a long flowing garment) was running behind me, he suffered a serious injury and I was also injured in my leg," said William, a factory employee.

Hussein Omar, a volunteer, said that he pulled out 14 bodies which were completely burnt. 

A doctors' committee that is linked to the protest movement in Sudan said that the casualties were taken to various hospitals. They also said that off duty doctors were urged to help treat the wounded. The injured are getting treatment in various hospitals in Khartoum, a police official said.

A number of deceased employees were from different countries, including some from Asian countries, medical sources said. 

The government also urged citizens to donate blood to the ones injured in the accident. 

"The explosion was loud. Several cars that were parked in the compound of the factory also caught fire," an employee of an adjacent factory said. 

(with inputs from AFP and Reuters)