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200 dead after DR Congo tanker truck explosion - Red Cross

International Desk |
Update: 2010-07-02 17:08:06
200 dead after DR Congo tanker truck explosion - Red Cross

KINSHASA - At least 200 people died when a tanker truck filled with oil exploded and set fire to a village in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the Red Cross said Saturday, doubling an earlier toll.

"A tanker truck coming from Tanzania overturned in the village of Sange. There was a crush (of people) and a petrol leak, there was an explosion of fuel oil which spread through the village," said Vincent Kabanga, spokesman for the South-Kivu regional government.

"The toll is more than 100 dead. It is a provisional toll. We are going to the scene to have more precise figures," he added.

The village is located around 70 kilometres (40 miles) south of the Sud-Kivu county town of Bukavu, close to the border with Burundi.

Dozens of mostly earth and straw constructed homes in Sange were engulfed in the blaze after the accident, which a police officer based in Bukavu said had been caused by the truck`s "excessive speed."

"We don`t yet have an exact toll but it could go over 100 dead," said the officer, who asked not to be named, adding that many of those who surrounded the vehicle before it exploded were children.

BDST: 13:19 HRS, July 3, 2010

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