The death toll in a fuel tanker explosion in Morogoro of Tanzania has gone up to 69. The earlier records had reported that 57people had died with over 60 others injured after the tanker exploded on Saturday.
“We currently mourn 69 deaths, the last victim died during evacuation while being transferred by helicopter to the National Hospital in Dar es Salaam,” said Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa.
“The wounded are now 66,” the Prime Minister added whiles speaking to residents in the town of Morogoro, where the incident occurred. His interaction was broadcast on Tanzanian television.
In a statement expressing his condolences, President John Magufuli has declared three-days of national mourning for the victims. Those who were immediately identified were to be given a government assisted burial authorities said.
Most of the victims from the Saturday accident were caught in fire after the fuel tanker bursted into flames. It has been established that most of the victims were youths who were siphoning petrol from the vehicle.
The explosion occurred around 200 km (120 miles) west of the capital Dar es Salaam. “We have been saddened by reports of an accident involving a fuel truck in Morogoro, which caught fire and burnt several people,” government spokesman Hassan Abbasi said on Twitter.
The events took place on Saturday morning in Msamvu Commune, in the immediate outskirts of Morogoro, a town some 200 km west of the economic capital Dar es Salaam, on one of the country’s main highways. .
The truck hit the pavement, trying to avoid a motorcycle, according to witnesses. Riders of “boda-boda” – motorcycle taxis – and other residents of the town flocked to the scene to try to collect fuel ejecting from the tank, it was then that the incident happened.