“The fire was huge and it was challenging to rescue victims. I have seen about 65 to 70 people being rescued because the fire was fast spreading across the accident area,” witness Daniel Ngogo told Reuters.
“…The situation is really bad. Many people died, here even those who were not stealing fuel because this is a busy place.” In the aftermath, one man held his face in his hands as he watched a huge plume of black smoke twist onto the sky.
“People started running and I fell down, everyone tried to escape but it was too late,” said local resident Hasani Oligenes, twisted bodies and motorbikes piled up behind him.
Government spokesman Hassan Abbasi said at least 60 people died and 70 were injured in the blast, which occurred in Morogoro, a town around 200 km (120 miles) west of the commercial capital Dar es Salaam.
The government was helping coordinate the salvage operation “to ensure we bury the bodies… relatives identify the bodies of their loved ones, and those injured get proper treatment,” he added, in comments broadcast live by a state TV channel.
President John Magufuli was “shocked and saddened” by the accident, his office said in a statement.
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