Monrovia, Dec 28 (EFE).- A fuel tanker explosion has killed at least 40 people in north-central Liberia, a health official said.
The accident occurred on Tuesday night Totota town when the tanker crashed on a highway, about 130 km from the capital, Monrovia, of the West African nation.
Dozens of people rushed to the spot to scoop fuel from the tanker when its exploded suddenly, witnesses said.
Chief medical officer Francis Kateh told reporters on Wednesday that the explosion injured 83 people, including a woman and three children between the ages of six and nine.
Kateh warned the number of victims could increase.
Eyewitnesses confirmed that some people in the community were trying to get fuel from the truck when the explosion occurred.
“When the tanker fell, many people came from all over the city. Some were just watching the gas spill, but others brought containers and collected the gas,” an unidentified witness told the local Daily Observer newspaper.
“In a short time, the tanker truck caught fire and many people started running helter-skelter. Many people could not escape the explosion,” the source said.
Poor road safety are one of the main causes in fatal traffic accidents in the Sub-Saharan African region, according to United Nations figures.
The fatality rate In the world’s region most affected by road crashes is 27 per 100,000 inhabitants – three times higher than Europe’s average of nine and well above the global average of 18, according to the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).
In Africa, traffic deaths account for about one quarter of the global number of victims, even though the continent has barely two percent of the world’s vehicle fleet. EFE hs-pa-ssk