Tanker truck explosion in Niger kills 55, injures 36 others
NIGAR: At leastFifty-five people were killed in the late hours of last night following by the explosion of a tanker truck carrying gasoline, a few hundred meters from the Niamey International Airport, a spokesman for the Ministry of Interior told International news agency.
“The toll of the explosion was 55 dead and 36 wounded. The victims were burned,” the spokesman added. According to witnesses interviewed by an AFP journalist, the truck ran over on the railway tracks as it left town. Onlookers were trying to recover the gasoline that was leaking when the explosion occurred.
“It was a little less than midnight when I got out and saw the truck lying down. People came from all over to get the gas. Then I saw a fire on the side and everything went up in flames,” said a schoolgirl on site Monday morning international news agency.
“There were motorcyclists and people around the truck when the fire started out of nowhere and it went bad. I saw at least 40 deaths,” said a shopkeeper, another witness to the scene.
The explosion occurred on the RN1 road leaving Niamey in a southeasterly direction. A fuel depot, where the truck probably came from, is a few hundred meters away.
Airport operations were not disrupted by the accident.