An eyewitness has revealed how the Morogoro tanker fire that killed at least 60 people on Saturday morning began.
The eyewitness told Tanzania’s Global Publishers that the inferno began raging from a nearby food-monger’s kiosk.
“I was here before, during and after the fire outbreak. The fire started, when residents, who had siphoned fuel — petrol — from the overturned tanker ran past a food-monger’s kiosk with containers, which contained the fuel. A drip of that oil near the fireplace led to an explosion, which resulted in the death of tens of people who were still siphoning fuel from the accident site. A bulk of the victims are women and children,” the eyewitness told Global Publishers in an interview recorded on video.
At least 60 people were killed and 70 injured in the fuel tanker explosion in Morogoro, police said.
Pictures posted online showed flaming wreckage scattered over a wide area and charred bodies lying on the ground.
Police said people were trying to recover fuel from the vehicle, which had overturned on a major road some time earlier, when the blast happened.
The incident occurred in Morogoro region, about 200 km west of the port city of Dar es Salaam.
The city of Morogoro is on a major route for transporting cargo and fuel from the port, which is the country’s commercial capital.
There are fears the death toll could rise. Police said many of the injured had suffered serious burns.
“The situation is really bad. Many people died here, even those who were not stealing fuel because this is a busy place,” said eyewitness Daniel Ngogo, quoted by Reuters news agency.
Local Police Chief Willbrod Mtafungwa said many of those killed were motorbike taxi drivers.
(Additional reporting by BBC)