Tanzania fire tragedy: Magufuli declares 3 days of mourning as death toll hits 64


Tanzania fire tragedy: Magufuli declares 3 days of mourning as death toll hits 64
More than 50 dead in oil explosion in Tanzania. PHOTO| COURTESY

Tanzanian President John Magufuli has declared three days of national mourning following an oil tanker explosion on Saturday.

The death toll from the tragedy now stands at 64 after two more people died while undergoing treatment.

The accident occurred in the city of Morogoro which is a major route for transporting cargo and fuel from the port city of Dar es Salaam, the country’s’ commercial capital.

An eyewitness said the truck was going at speed and was trying to avoid a motorcyclist on the main road near a Msamvu bus station. The driver appeared to lose control before the truck overturned and later exploded.

In a press statement issued on Sunday, Magufuli indicated that during the three days of mourning, all national flags will be hoisted at half mast.

“President Dr. John Pombe Magufuli has declared three days of national mourning starting Saturday 10th August. In that period, all flags will fly at half-mast,” indicated a press statement read by the Director of Communications at State House.

According to Ms. Jenista Mhagama, the Minister of State in the Prime Ministers’ office, the Tanzanian government will take care of those affected by the fire tragedy.

During a press conference with Tanzanian media, the minister indicated that a team had been constituted to oversee the identification of the bodies.

A majority of the injured were rushed to Muhimbili National Hospital and Benjamin Mkapa Hospital, with Tanzanian media indicating that specialist teams were tasked with offering the treatment.

So far, family and friends continue gathering at Morogoro Secondary School grounds to offer their DNA samples as some families begin burial plans.

Tanzanian media says that the dead comprise of 58 men and 5 women.

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Story By Raquel Muigai
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