73 killed after fuel tanker explodes in Mozambique

At least 73 people have died and a further 110 have been injured after a fuel tanker exploded in northern Mozambique as residents gathered around to buy fuel from the driver on Thursday.

Dozens of charred bodies were scattered around the blast site in the town of Caphiridzange in Tete province and government officials believed more bodies might be in surrounding woods, Radio Mozambique reported.

Some badly-burned people had tried to run into a nearby river, the radio said.

A truck driver from neighbouring Malawi had turned off the main road to sell fuel to local residents, who were gathered around the vehicle when the fuel caught fire, according to the radio station.

Medical teams rushed to the scene of the accident, evacuating the injured in ambulances and other vehicles. Searchers looked for more victims, though their efforts were hampered as night fell.

The cause of the explosion was not immediately clear.

Citing Mozambican reports, the Portuguese news agency Lusa said one theory was that a fire near the tanker set off the blast while another pointed to a lightning strike as residents were collecting the fuel.

A national government taskforce planned to travel to the accident site on Friday.

AP


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