Death toll in South Sudan fuel truck blast reaches 182
The death toll in South Sudan from the explosion of a fuel truck this week has risen to 182, a regional official said on Friday.
The blast occurred on Wednesday as crowds gathered around the tanker to gather fuel after it had veered off the road.
An official had earlier said that the toll could keep rising as South Sudan did not have adequate facilities to treat the burns.
“The death toll has increased to 182 people, however, we are now on the ground evacuating some serious cases to a safe location for medical attention,” Wilson Yanga, Maridi County Commissioner, told newsmen.
Maridi is in Western Equatorial, the region where the blast took place.
Such incidents have happened before in the east African region where fuel tankers often have to travel long distances along potholed roads and pass through poor communities.
There are almost no tarmac roads in South Sudan, one of Africa’s poorest nations, which has been marred in conflict since December 2013.
Rebels and the government signed a peace deal in August, but the ceasefire had already been violated.
Presidential spokesman Ateny Ateny had said Wednesday’s incident was not related to the conflict.