At least 73 people have been killed with more than 100 injured after a fuel tanker explosion on Thursday in the north of Mozambique, the nation’s public radio announced.
“The death toll of the incident is now 73,” state-run Radio Mozambique announced, citing authorities in Tete.
The precise circumstances of the explosion remained unclear, however, it was gathered that the victims were trying to get fuel off the truck when it exploded in the village of Caphiridzange in Tete province, near Malawi.
Dozens of charred bodies were scattered around the explosion site with government officials saying that more bodies might be in surrounding woods.
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The information ministry director Joao Manasses told AFP that authorities were trying to determine whether the oil tank truck was selling petrol when it exploded, or whether it had been ambushed by residents.
Also speaking, a local journalist told AFP that 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 16-year 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.