- At least 15 people were killed and dozens severely burned in Central African Republic last Saturday, when a petrol tanker overturned and exploded as villagers attempted to salvage fuel from it.
Reports show that truck carrying gasoline and diesel oil overturned, after blowing a tyre near village of Gbahon, 75 km (45 miles) north of capital Bangui.
Driver and his assistant escaped unhurt, but dozens of local villagers, mostly women and children, rushed up to scene, to try to collect leaking fuel.
"We warned them in vain to move away because they were in danger. But they didn't understand and even threatened us and it was two of us against more than 60 men, women and children. And then suddenly there was an explosion when they started to open one of stopcocks," driver Aboubakar Camara told media.
Rescue workers said more than 30 injured with serious burns were evacuated to Bangui, while those with less serious injuries were taken to nearby town of Boali.
Deadly fires, accidents and explosions involving oil tankers or pipelines are common in West Africa, which like rest of continent has seen fuel prices rise sharply as a result of soaring world crude oil prices.
Last month, at least 10 people were reportedly killed and many more severly burned when a tanker truck carrying fuel overturned and exploded in northern Cameroon.
Many of victims were local people who had approached to try to siphon off leaking fuel.
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