MOZAMBIQUE: 24 PEOPLE STILL HOSPITALISED SIX WEEKS AFTER FUEL TANKER EXPLOSION

Over six weeks after the explosion of a fuel tanker in Moatize district, in the western Mozambican province of Tete, 24 people remain hospitalized, reports in the independent daily O Pais.

The explosion occurred when a large crowd of people, in the locality of Caphiridzange, were looting fuel from the tanker, which belonged to a Malawian company. The Malawian truck driver, who helped organise the theft of fuel from his own vehicle, has disappeared and is wanted by the Mozambican police.

The death toll from the tragedy stands at 104. Of the injured, 52 have been discharged from the Tete provincial hospital, but 24 remain under medical care, as doctors try to deal with their horrific burns. Of these, four are said to be in a serious condition.

Another tanker truck, carrying 20,000 litres of petrol, caught fire on Thursday Dec 29 morning in the northern port city of Nacala, reports the Maputo daily Noticias. This time there were no fatalities, but three people were injured when they tried to douse the flames before the fire brigade arrived.

The fire fighters arrived too late to save a nearby house and another vehicle from the blaze.

The accident occurred in the Nacala neighbourhood of Onthupaia, when the owner of the tanker was transferring the petrol to a second vehicle. An electric pump was used in this operation and its is believed that a short circuit in the pump caused the fire.

The owner of the fuel is an authorised fuel trader, but he was selling petrol without observing basic safety measures.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK