Southern Africa: SADC Mourns As Death Toll in Tanzania Fuel Tanker Reaches 69

The charred remains of motorcycle taxis at the scene of the oil tanker blast in Morogoro.

Dar es Salaam — The Southern African Development Community (Sadc) has described the death of at least 69 people in an oil tanker blast Saturday as a loss to the region.

In a condolence message, Sadc chairperson and Namibian president Hage Geingob said the regional bloc had "learnt with great sorrow and sadness" of a deadly fire accident.

"This is a loss not only to Tanzania, but to the Sadc region as a whole," he said.

"Sadc sympathises and remains in solidarity with the government and the people of the United Republic of Tanzania during this painful and sad moment. We wish all Tanzanians courage and strength as the Country faces this big loss."

Tanzania was in mourning Sunday, preparing to bury the dead after 69 people perished when a crashed fuel tanker exploded as crowds rushed to syphon off leaking petrol in Morogoro.

President John Magufuli declared a period of mourning through Monday following the deadly blast.

He was represented at the funerals by Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa.

Tanzania is this week set to assume chairmanship of the 16-member regional bloc during the 39th Session of the Heads of State and Government Summit, which will be held in Dar es Salaam August 17-18.

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