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Tanker truck explosion in Niger kills 55, injures 36 others

Tanker truck explosion in Niger kills 55, injures 36 others

Niger

<p><strong>Fifty-five people were killed in the late hours of Sunday 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 <span class="caps">AFP</span>.</strong></p> <p>“The toll of the explosion was 55 dead and 36 wounded. The victims were burned,” the spokesman added. According to witnesses interviewed by an <span class="caps">AFP</span> 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. </p> <p>“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 at <span class="caps">AFP</span>.</p> <p>“There were motorcyclists and people around the truck when the fire started out of nowhere and it went bam. I saw at least 40 deaths,” said a shopkeeper, another witness to the scene. </p> <p>On Monday morning, the burnt-out truck lying on its side was still visible as police picked up debris and burnt motorcycles on the road. Surrounding houses were affected by the flames. </p> <p>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 metres away.</p> <p>Airport operations were not disrupted by the accident.</p>

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.

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