Our memories still linger following fuel tanker explosion in Morogoro

13Aug 2019
Editor
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Our memories still linger following fuel tanker explosion in Morogoro

The horrific pictures from the fuel tanker explosion caused by scavengers were damning enough. The more recent ones  in two  years back were, by far, a greater reproach to the conscience of the country.

The queasiness induced by the sight of so many incinerated remains of the human body was traumatic, no doubt. But beyond this, there is the dire need to query the reasons why looting of fuel from the accident.

Over the period since independence, government  in our land long   to cared for the welfare of the people  that victims of the  tanker explosion  are vandals, and to this extent, it is implied that their fiery comeuppance ought not to be rued. But the technology required to vandalise these fuel-bearing explosions bears witness against this interpretation.

Indeed our   memories still linger following  this fuel tanker exploded in Morogoro on Saturday, killing  71 people and injuring 65, many of whom were siphoning petrol from the vehicle, which had crashed.

The explosion occurred around 200 km  120 miles west of the capital Dar es Salaam.

We have all Tanzanians been saddened by reports of an accident involving a fuel truck   which caught fire and burnt scores of people.

Following the disaster the  government declared 3 days of mourning through Monday.

According to eye witnesses the tanker driver reportedly lost control while he was trying to avoid a motorcycle operator.

People had rushed to the area after the accident to siphon the leaking fuel before the explosion. They were among the victims of the tragic event.

The burial was due to start on Sunday while relatives of the deceased gathered at the Morogoro secondary school to take part in the DNA tests to identify the bodies of their loved ones.

At least 72 other people were injured and are undergoing treatment at the Morogoro Regional Hospital and National Hospital Muhimbili in Dar es Salaam, according to the reports.

In a statement issued Sunday by the presidential communication office, Tanzania’s President John Magufuli announced three days of national mourning following the tragedy.

  He expressed shock over the looting of fuel from the accident and warned people against the practice.

  Similar incidents happened previously in different parts of Africa and the world as a whole. In July, at least 45 people were killed when a crashed fuel tanker exploded in Nigeria's northern Benue state.

About 80 people died in May in a similar accident near the airport of Niamey, Niger's capital city.

A similar deadly explosion in 2013 killed at least 29 people on the outskirts of the Ugandan capital Kampala. More than 30 people were killed in 2016 outside Naivasha town in Kenya after a fuel tanker crashed into other vehicles and burst into flames.

On 25 June 2017, a tanker truck exploded near Ahmedpur East in Pakistan's Bahawalpur District, killing 219 people and injuring at least 34 others. The truck overturned when its driver attempted to make a sharp turn on the N-5 National Highway.

Once the news of the accident spread to nearby villages, hundreds of residents rushed to the scene to loot the truck of its cargo. The truck then exploded; early reports suggested the explosion was caused by someone lighting a cigarette.