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Tanzania tanker blast kills 57 as flames rip through crowd gathered to siphon petrol from it

File Photo. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

AFP Nairobi, Kenya Aug 10, 2019, 03.22 PM (IST)

Fifty-seven people perished in Tanzania on Saturday when a fuel tanker exploded after overturning on a road west of the capital Dar Es Salaam, police said.

The disaster took place near the town of Morogoro, with police saying the blaze may have been sparked by a cigarette as people rushed to collect leaking fuel from the stricken truck.

"There was a huge blast which has so far killed at least 57 people," regional police chief Willbrod Mtafungwa told reporters,.

Witnesses said they saw the charred remains of a number of motorcycle taxis and trees scorched by the flames.

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 tanker crashed.

Police later announced the fire had been brought under control.
 

Story highlights

The disaster took place near the town of Morogoro, with police saying the blaze may have been sparked by a cigarette as people rushed to collect leaking fuel from the stricken truck