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

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

Representative image. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

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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

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.