Dar es Salaam (Agenzia Fides) - "The Catholic Church in Tanzania sends condolences to Mr. President and to all citizens. We urge Tanzanians to support the families who have lost their loved ones and who have suffered trauma during this difficult time", says the message sent by the Chairman of the Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC), His Exc. Mgr. Gervas Nyaisonga, Archbishop of Mbeya, to the President of the Republic of Tanzania John Pombe Magufuli, following an oil truck accident on August 10, which caused deaths of approximately 89 people and several injuries. The vehicle overturned on the road in Morogoro, 175 kilometres west of Dar es Salaam. An eyewitness said the truck was going at a high speed and was trying to avoid a motorcyclist on the main road when the driver appeared to lose control and the truck overturned.
The people died while trying to collect petrol leaking from the overturned fuel tanker, which eventually exploded. 71 people were killed on the spot and 59 injured. By August 16, the number of deaths had increased to 89, as some who were severely injured were transferred to the National Hospital Muhimbili in Dar es Salaam and died.
A similar incident occurred on Sunday 18 August in a small town in western Uganda, on the road that leads from Kampala to Kasese following the explosion of a tanker which caused the death of at least 19 people. According to the police, the driver of the tanker lost control of the vehicle that crashed into three cars and exploded.
The explosion of damaged tankers have caused multiple massacres in various African countries. In Nigeria, 100 dead on 12 July 2012 and another 100 in 2007; in Sudan 203 dead on 16 September, 2015; in Kenya 111 dead on January 31, 2009; in the Democratic Republic of Congo 292 died on 2 July, 2010; in Niger 80 victims on 6 May 2019. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 20/8/2019)