57 (Fifty-seven) people died on Saturday when a fuel tanker explosion. The accident happened at Morogoro, 200 kilometres (120 miles) west of the Tanzanian capital Dar es Salaam, police said.
“There was a big blast which has so far killed at least 57 people,” mainly people trying to collect leaking fuel, regional police chief Willbrod Mtafungwa told reporters.
Regional police commissioner Steven Kabwe told the local Azam TV that 57 bodies have been recovered. He also added that many others who suffered burns are being treated.
Witnesses in Morogoro, which lies about 120 miles (200 kilometers) from Tanzania’s economic hub of Dar es Salaam, told The Associated Press that scores of people had gathered around the fuel tanker after it was involved in an accident trying to siphon fuel when the tanker burst into flames.
Pictures posted online show 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 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.
Correspondents say disasters like this have happened all too frequently in parts of Africa where some people are willing to take huge risks to remove fuel from tankers and pipelines.