The aftermath of a burned tanker truck in Mbuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018. At least 50 people were killed and more than 100 were badly burned when a tanker truck in Congo collided with another truck and, as villagers rushed to collect the leaking fuel, burst into flames, witnesses and officials said Saturday. (Henri Alimasi/Congo’s health ministry via AP)

Congo ministry: At least 39 dead in Congo tanker truck fire

October 07, 2018 - 9:29 am

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — Congo's Health Ministry says at least 39 people are dead and more than 80 people have been hospitalized after a tanker truck collided with another truck in western Congo.

The ministry reduced the death toll from 50 announced Saturday by the regional governor. The updated lower figure cites rescue officials and hospital records.

The accident happened in the village of Mbuba, not far from Kisantu city and about 200 kilometers (124 miles) southwest of the capital, Kinshasa.

Witnesses say villagers rushed to collect leaking fuel from the vehicles when a fire broke out. The fire quickly spread to nearby homes.

The ministry said 20 people died immediately and of more than 100 transferred to a hospital, 19 later died. The toll is provisional.

President Joseph Kabila had Saturday ordered three days of national mourning.

An investigation was launched into the cause of the accident.

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