Left Menu
Development News Edition

Tanzania mourns 69 killed in fuel tanker blast

PTI | Morogoro | Updated: 11-08-2019 15:58 IST | Created: 11-08-2019 15:56 IST
Tanzania mourns 69 killed in fuel tanker blast

Tanzania was in mourning Sunday, preparing to bury 69 people who perished when a crashed fuel tanker exploded as crowds rushed to syphon off leaking petrol. President John Magufuli declared a period of mourning through Monday following the deadly blast near the town of Morogoro, west of Dar es Salaam.

He will be represented at the funerals by Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa, an official statement said. "We're currently mourning the loss of 69 people, the last of whom died while being transferred by helicopter to the national hospital in Dar es Salaam," Majaliwa told residents in comments broadcast on Tanzanian television.

The number of injured stood at 66, he said. The burials will start Sunday afternoon, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Jenista Mhagama announced during the morning after relatives identified the dead.

"The preparations for the burials have been completed. Individual graves have been dug and the coffins are ready," Mhagama said, adding that experts would be available to offer psychological counselling to the victims' relatives. DNA tests would be carried out on bodies that were no longer recognisable, Mhagama said, adding that families could take the remains of their loved ones and organise their own burials if they preferred.

In the latest in a series of similar disasters in Africa, 39 seriously hurt patients had been taken to hospital in Dar es Salaam while 17 others were being treated in Morogoro, 200 kilometres (125 miles) west of the economic capital of Tanzania. Footage from the scene showed the truck engulfed in flames and huge clouds of black smoke, with charred bodies.

The burnt-out remains of motorcycle taxis lie scattered on the ground among scorched trees. A video posted on social media showed dozens of people carrying yellow jerricans around the truck.

"We arrived at the scene with two neighbours just after the truck was overturned. While some good Samaritans were trying to get the driver and the other two people out of the truck, others were jostling each other, equipped with jerricans, to collect petrol," teacher January Michael told AFP. "At the same time, someone was trying to pull the battery out of the vehicle. We warned that the truck could explode at any moment but no one wanted to listen, so we went on our way, but we had barely turned on our heels when we heard the explosion."

President Magufuli called Saturday for people to stop the dangerous practice of stealing fuel in such a way, a common event in many poor parts of Africa. He issued a statement saying he was "very shocked" by the looting of fuel from damaged vehicles.

"There are vehicles that carry dangerous fuel oil, as in this case in Morogoro, there are others that carry toxic chemicals or explosives, let's stop this practice, please," Magufuli said. Last month, 45 people were killed and more than 100 injured in central Nigeria when a petrol tanker crashed and then exploded as people tried to take the fuel.

Among the deadliest such disasters, 292 people lost their lives in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo in July 2010, and in September 2015 at least 203 people died the South Sudan town of Maridi.



Post-COVID-19 Nigeria needs a robust Health Management Information System to handle high disease burden

Nigeria is among a few countries that conceptualised a health management information system HMIS in the early 90s but implementation has been a challenge till date. Besides COVID-19, the country has a huge burden of communicable and non-com...

Morocco COVID-19 response: A fragile health system and the deteriorating situation

Learning from its European neighbors, Morocco imposed drastic measures from the initial stages of the COVID-19 outbreak to try to contain its spread. The strategy worked for a few months but the cases have surged after mid-June. In this sit...

COVID-19: Argentina’s health system inefficiencies exaggerate flaws of health information system

You can recover from a drop in the GDP, but you cant recover from death, was the straightforward mindset of Argentinas President Alberto Fernndez and defined the countrys response to COVID-19. The South American nation imposed a strict...

Rwanda’s COVID-19 response commendable but health information system needs improvement

Rwanda is consistently working to improve its health information system from many years. However, it is primarily dependent on the collection and reporting of health data on a monthly basis. Besides, evaluation studies on Rwandas HIS publis...


Latest News

Capt Amarinder appeals to all parties to fight unitedly against farm Bills

Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Thursday appealed to all political parties to rise above petty considerations and come on one platform to fight unitedly against the treacherous Agriculture Bills that would destroy the farmers ...

BJP MLA charges pvt hospitals in Karnataka with indulging in 'loot'; asks govt to act

Accusing the private hospitals of indulging in loot during the COVID-19 pandemic, BJP MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal on Thursday sought to know from his party-led government in Karnataka what it was doing to check it. The former Union Ministe...

Farm bills to revolutionise life of farmers: Uttarakhand CM

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Friday said the farm sector reform bills passed in Parliament will eliminate middlemen and give farmers the freedom to sell their produce anywhere inside or outside mandis. Describing the ...

Village with highest altitude polling station gets first tap water connection: Shekhawat

Tashigang, a tiny village at 15,256 feet above the sea level in Spiti Valley where villagers have to either melt snow to drink or fetch water using mules, has got its first tap connection under Jal Jeevan Mission, Union Minister Gajendra Si...

Give Feedback