Oil explosion kills 204 in Congo

At least 204 people were killed in Democratic Republic of Congo when a tanker truck transporting oil flipped over and exploded overnight in the east of the country, a Red Cross official said today.

The truck was carrying fuel from neighbouring Tanzania when it overturned at high speed late Friday in the village of Sange, around 60 miles outside the regional capital Bukavu said Red Cross official Desire Yuma.

Speaking by telephone from Bukavu, Yuma said the toll could rise since Red Cross workers were still collecting bodies from the scene.

UN-funded Radio Okapi reported a similar death toll, and said some local residents had rushed to steal the leaking fuel when it burst into flames.

Madnodje Mounoubai, a spokesman for the UN mission that has peacekeepers in the region, said the UN force was investigating the blast. He said no UN troops were killed or wounded.

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