South Sudan Oil Tanker Blast Kills 170 | Independent Newspapers Limited
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South Sudan Oil Tanker Blast Kills 170

Posted: Sep 18, 2015 at 12:06 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

At least 170 people were killed in South Sudan when an oil truck exploded as a crowd tried to gather fuel from the vehicle after it had veered off the road, a regional official said on Thursday, a day after the incident.

In addition to those killed in Wednesday’s blast, Charles Kisagna, the Minister of Information in Western Equatoria, said about 50 people were seriously injured.

“We don’t have medical equipment and these people may not survive because we do not have the facilities to treat the highly burnt people,” he told Reuters, adding the truck had been traveling from the capital Juba to the Western Equatoria area.

Such incidents have happened before in the east African region where fuel tankers often have to travel long distances along potholed roads and pass through poor communities.

There are almost no tarmac roads in South Sudan, one of Africa’s poorest nations, which has been mired in conflict since December 2013. Rebels and the government signed a peace deal in August, although the ceasefire has already been violated.

Presidential spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny said Wednesday’s incident was not related to the conflict. “This was an accident,” he said.