Sixty one children including orphans and 36 women are among the 230 dead from an oil tanker explosion that spread fuel and flames through a Congo village creating a deadly chain of events. At least as many people are injured, with the death toll likely to rise as rescue workers tally the dead and injured according to the Red Cross.
Guardian reports, ‘”It’s a terrible scene. There are lots of dead bodies on the streets. The population is in terrible shock – no one is crying or speaking,’ said Jean-Claude Kibala, South Kivu’s vice-governor. ‘We are trying to see how we can co-ordinate [with the UN] to manage the situation.'”
A speeding oil tanker truck overturned late Friday in the remote village of Sange near DRC’s border with Burundi according to Red Cross and local officials reports Voice of America.
Dozens of mostly earth and straw homes in the village of Sange were set alight, trapping people inside according to the Guardian.
“Katrina Manson, a journalist with the Reuters news agency in the country, said that once the fuel started leaking “it ran absolutely everywhere.”
Voice of America reports that “people were trying to gather leaking fuel from the overturned truck when it exploded, spreading flames throughout the village as residents were watching the World Cup.”
“The Associated Press quotes the officer, who asked not to be named, as saying many of those who surrounded the vehicle before it exploded were children.” (See Radio Free Europe)
CNN reports that a U.N. official said that the company GINKI owns the oil tanker, and “the driver managed to escape the fire.”
Roads in the area are notoriously bad after years of war and neglect in the vast central African nation. The population of Sange has more than doubled in the past year to about 40,000 as the result of an influx of refugees fleeing the Lord’s Resistance Army, a sectarian militant group, to the north and ongoing sporadic fighting between government forces and Rwandan militias. (The Guradian)
“The refugees have been taken in by local people and the village has a high concentration of orphans.”
Almost six million people have died during the past decade as a result of the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Don Bosco Orphanage Projects operate in the Republic of Congo as highlighted in their Youtube video below.