Iran Sympathizes with Congo over Deadly Tanker Blast

Iran Sympathizes with Congo over Deadly Tanker Blast

The accident happened early on Saturday when the oil tanker collided with a vehicle on a highway 120 kilometres (75 miles) west of the capital Kinshasa.

According to witnesses and officials, villagers had rushed to collect the leaking fuel when it caught fire.

The interim governor of Kongo-Central province, Atu Matubuana, who shared the toll of at least 50 dead, said officials were identifying the bodies in preparation for burial.

Matadi, at the other end of the highway, is on an estuary that leads to the Atlantic Ocean and is the DR Congo's sole port.

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Most of the injured suffered "second-degree burn injuries" and two mobile clinics were transporting the wounded. Already 20 of the injured had been evacuated to the capital, it added. Oil tankers and trucks overloaded with goods are a regular scene on the highway. A witness said he had not seen any ambulance at the site.

The UN mission in DRC, known by its French acronym MONUSCO, said it had sent nine ambulances to the spot to evacuate the injured.

In 2010, at least 230 people were killed in Congo when a fuel tanker overturned and exploded, unleashing a fire ball that tore through homes and cinemas packed with people watching World Cup soccer.

Several similar incidents have already been reported across the country in the past years.

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