Oil Tanker Explosion Leaves At Least 220 Dead
At what point do we realize that our ongoing oil addiction is fatal? A fuel tanker overturned and burst into flames in the Congo, causing a fire that killed 220 villagers and wounded 200. Some of the killed and injured were rushing to illegally siphon off the liquid.
The truck overturned as it was trying to pass a mini-bus late Friday near the village of Sange, around 20 miles (30 kilometers) north of Uvira, a town near the Burundi border, said Mana Lungwe, manager of the Congolese oil company that owns the truck. The vehicle began gushing oil, and then burst into flames an hour later, he said.
Many bodies were burnt beyond recognition and at least a dozen homes were destroyed by the fires.
Desperately poor people in Congo — which is still struggling to recover from a 1998-2002 war — often descend quickly around damaged or disabled oil trucks leaking fuel on roads and highways, carting it away with plastic jugs, unaware of the danger of doing so.
Some of the worst tragedies have occurred in Nigeria, where thousands have died as crowds siphoned fuel from ruptured or pierced oil pipelines that subsequently exploded. In a separate accident Friday involving another fuel truck, an out-of-control gasoline tanker flipped over and exploded outside the gates of a local hospital in northern Nigeria, killing 14 people in an inferno in Gombe state.Click here for reuse options!
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