Tanzania: Police say 62 killed when siphoned tanker explodes

An injured man is carried from the scene as a petrol tanker burns in the background, Saturday, Aug. 10 2019, in Morogoro, Tanzania. A damaged tanker truck exploded in eastern Tanzania Saturday as people were trying to siphon fuel out of it, killing at least 62, in one of the worst incidents of its kind in the East African country. (AP Photo)
Spread the love

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania (AP) — A damaged tanker truck exploded in eastern Tanzania as people were trying to siphon fuel out of it Saturday, killing at least 62 in one of the worst incidents of its kind in the East African country.

Fire fighters try to extinguish a Petrol Tanker blaze, Saturday, Aug. 10 2019, in Morogoro, Tanzania. A damaged tanker truck exploded in eastern Tanzania Saturday as people were trying to siphon fuel out of it, killing at least 62, in one of the worst incidents of its kind in the East African country. (AP Photo)

Tanzanian state broadcaster TBC, citing police figures, said at least 70 more people were injured during the explosion in the town of Morogoro, located about 120 miles (200 kilometers) from the economic hub of Dar es Salaam.

Regional commissioner Steven Kebwe told the local Azam TV that many suffered serious burns.

Witnesses told The Associated Press that a crowd had gathered around the fuel tanker after it was involved in an accident early Saturday and some people were trying to siphon away fuel when the truck burst into flames.

Video footage posted on social media showed people collecting fuel into jerry cans before the fire incident.

In a statement expressing condolences, Tanzanian President John Magufuli said he was dismayed people attacked vehicles involved in accidents instead of offering help.

Residents are routinely killed by explosions while stealing fuel from incapacitated tankers in East Africa. Those who steal the fuel usually hope to be able to sell it cheaply to motorists.

In 2013, at least 29 people were killed on the outskirts of the Ugandan capital, Kampala, as scores swarmed around the scene of an accident.

There is limited awareness about the danger of explosions of damaged fuel tankers, said Henry Bantu, a road safety expert who runs the Tanzania-based Safe Speed Foundation. Local leaders need to do more to educate people on the risks, he said.

About the Author

Michael Onas
Africa - Online Founder & Senior Editor Africa - Online.Com was founded by Michael Onas in 1997, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in African news sector, with millions of readers around the world and followers on social media.