Death toll climbs to 75 in Tanzania fuel tanker blast
The death toll from a fuel truck explosion in Tanzania rose to 75 yesterday as four more people succumbed to their injuries, a hospital official said.
“We deplore four new deaths. Their bodies are currently resting at the morgue while we wait for relatives to identify them,” said Aminiel Aligaesha, spokesman for the National Hospital in the economic capital, Dar es Salaam. Funeral services which began Sunday were expected to continue Monday as the country concluded a period of national mourning declared by President John Magufuli.
The explosion took place Saturday morning near the town of Morogoro, some 200 kilometres (125 miles) west of Dar es Salaam. The dead were trying to collect leaking petrol from the overturned tanker. Witnesses said the truck tipped over as it tried to avoid a motorcycle, and locals quickly converged on the scene to collect fuel.
The explosion was triggered when a man tried to retrieve the truck’s battery, creating sparks that ignited the fuel, officials said.