Tanzanian PM forms team to probe fuel tanker explosion as death toll rises to 69
Tanzanian Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa on Sunday announced the formation of a special team to investigate into a fuel tanker explosion in Morogoro region on Saturday, Trend reports citing Xinhua.
Majaliwa announced the creation of the probe team shortly after the Morogoro regional commissioner Stephen Kebwe had told him that the number of deaths from the explosion had risen from 64 to 69 by Sunday noon.
"The investigative team starts its assignment today (Sunday) and it should submit its report to me by Friday," Majaliwa told people who gathered at the Morogoro regional hospital to identify bodies of victims of the explosion.
A statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office said the premier challenged the team not to hesitate mentioning him if he was responsible for the grisly accident.
Majaliwa said the formation of the investigative team was aimed at enabling the government to know if relevant public authorities played their part after the accident had occurred, said the statement.
"The government has been saddened by what had happened. President John Magufuli has authorized the release of funds for buying required medical facilities and drugs for treating the injured people," said Majaliwa.
He said relatives of the deceased were allowed to collect bodies of the victims for burial, adding that those who will not be identified will be buried by the government.
On Saturday night, President Magufuli declared three days of national mourning for people killed in the explosion.
A statement by the Directorate of Presidential Communication at State House in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam said the three-day mourning lasts from Saturday to Monday.
"During the mourning period, the national flag will fly at half mast," said the statement.
Wilbroad Mutafungwa, the Morogoro regional police commander, said on Saturday the number of deaths could rise further as most of the 70 injured persons were in critical condition.
An oil tanker exploded after it had overturned in Morogoro on Saturday morning, killing some people who tried to siphon off oil coming out of the tanker.