Aug. 10 (UPI) — An oil tanker exploded on a busy road in Tanzania on Saturday, killing more than 60 people and injuring 70.
The fuel tanker burst into flames in the Morogoro town of Tanzania near a bus station.
An eyewitness said the truck was attempting to avoid a collision with a motorcyclist near a Msamvu bus station, causing it to lose control and overturn.
Morogoro Regional Police Commander Wilbroad Mutafungwa confirmed that 62 people were killed.
The bus station along the busyroad in Morogoro, 109 miles west of Dar es Salaam, is a major hub for motorcyclists, who were among most of the dead with most burnt beyond recognition.
Morogoro regional commissioner Kebwe Stephene said that the area became crowded when many people rushed to get buckets to collect the fuel after someone noticed the tanker’s cargo was leaking.
More than 150 people were at the scene when the truck exploded around 20 minutes later. Photos from the scene show flames and thick black smoke from the wreckage with dozens of motorbikes scattered.
Government spokesperson Hassan Abbas said that authorities believe many of the dead were people trying to collect fuel from the truck.
Some have blamed the outburst on one person who went there to collect fuel while smoking a cigarette.
The road, which connects Morogoro with Dar es Salaam, the country’s most populous city, is used to transport imports and exports to and from the coast.
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