Tragedy struck as a petrol tanker went up in flames killing about 73 persons who were scooping fuel from it.
About 110 others were left with serious injuries in the incident that occurred on Thursday, November 17, 2016 in western Mozambique near Malawi.
A statement issued by the government said: “The incident occurred when citizens tried to take petrol from a truck” in the village of Caphiridzange in Tete province.
“Because of the heat, the truck burst into flames, leading to the deaths of 43 people and causing burns in 110 others, according to investigators’ initial findings,” it added.
“Ambulances and medical personnel were deployed to the scene in order to assist the victims. The injured were evacuated to Tete hospital” around 90 kilometres (55 miles) away.
Authorities were probing whether the truck was selling petrol when it exploded, or whether it had been ambushed by residents, information ministry director Joao Manasses told AFP.
A local journalist told AFP the truck had crashed on Wednesday and exploded on Thursday afternoon, as scores of people tried to siphon off fuel.
Mozambique is one of the world’s poorest nations, according to the International Monetary Fund, and since its civil war ended in 1992 its population has suffered the consequences of a terrible economic crisis.
The government recently increased the price of fuel, after the value of the local currency named metical sunk against the dollar.
Three ministers will be deployed to the scene on Friday, November 18, 2016 to monitor the rescue operation.
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