Toll From Tanzania Truck Blast Reaches 100

Tanzania Truck Blast
Burnt trees and the carcass of a burnt-out fuel tanker is seen along the side of the road following an explosion on 10 August 2019, in Morogoro, 200 kilometres (120 miles) west of the Tanzanian capital Dar es Salaam. Picture: AFP

The death toll from a fuel truck explosion in Tanzania on 10 August hit 100 on Wednesday after several victims perished from severe burns.

Aminiel Aligaesha, a spokesperson for the National Hospital in Dar es Salaam, told reporters “two people died on Tuesday during the day, and another on Tuesday night”, bringing the total number of dead to 100.

Officials had put the tally at 95 on Sunday, and another two people were announced dead on Monday.

At least 30 of the victims died in the days after the accident, in which a fireball engulfed a crowd thronging to collect petrol from an overturned tanker near Morogoro, 200 kilometres west of Dar es Salaam.

Officials said the explosion was triggered when a man tried to take the truck’s battery, creating sparks that ignited the fuel.

A doctor at the hospital, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP that most of those who survived the initial blast had suffered burns on over 80% of their body.

“We are doing our best, but most of them are in critical condition,” said the doctor.

Many of the victims are motorbike taxi drivers who rushed to the scene to try to siphon off leaking petrol.

It was the latest in a string of such disasters in Africa and at least the third this year.

Last month, 45 people were killed and more than 100 injured in central Nigeria when a petrol tanker crashed and then exploded as people tried to take the fuel.

In May, a similar incident in Niger killed nearly 80 people.

In the worst tragedy, 292 people lost their lives in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo in July 2010, while in September 2015 at least 203 people died the South Sudan town of Maridi.

EWN