Sudan Tanker Explodes at Ceramics Factory

A pall of acrid smoke rises above the Sila ceramics factory in Khartoum.

Khartoum — A gas tanker exploded at a ceramics factory in Khartoum on Tuesday, killing at least 23 people and injuring dozens more.

Eyewitnesses in the Sudanese capital said the tanker exploded while a shipment was being unloaded.

Doctors at Bahari Hospital in north Khartoum made an urgent appeal for all medical personnel to come to the hospital to help treat the burn victims.

"I could see in one [ward] seven injured and in another ward there were 12 injured, and all of them are in critical condition where they are unable to see or talk," reporter Michael Atit told VOA's South Sudan in Focus.

Atit said eyewitnesses told him the injured were people who had been sitting outside the factory and that "people who were in the factory, none of them survived, none of them actually came out."

News reports said people were being called on to donate blood.

Atit cited the hospital's doctors as saying more than 200 people were believed to be inside the factory at the time of the blast. South Sudan in Focus could not verify that figure. Atit said police officials and investigators were at the hospital trying to gather information from witnesses.

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