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Congo ministry says at least 53 dead after tanker truck fire

October 8, 2018

The aftermath of a burned tanker truck in Mbuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018. At least 50 people were killed and more than 100 were badly burned when a tanker truck in Congo collided with another truck and, as villagers rushed to collect the leaking fuel, burst into flames, witnesses and officials said Saturday. (Henri Alimasi/Congo’s health ministry via AP)

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Congo’s Health Ministry says at least 53 people are dead and more than 72 people have been hospitalized after a tanker truck collided with another truck in western Congo.

The ministry updated the figures Monday, saying the toll will likely rise, given the severity of burns suffered.

The accident happened in the village of Mbuba, not far from Kisantu city and about 200 kilometers (124 miles) southwest of the capital, Kinshasa.

Witnesses say villagers rushed to collect leaking fuel from the vehicles when a fire broke out. The fire quickly spread to nearby homes.

The ministry said 22 people died immediately.

President Joseph Kabila had Saturday ordered three days of national mourning.

An investigation has been launched to determine the cause of the accident.

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