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DR Congo oil tanker collision leaves at least 50 dead

At least 50 people have died after an oil tanker collided with a car on a major road in the west of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The incident occurred near the city of Kisantu, between the capital Kinshasa and the port of Matadi.

One hundred people suffered second-degree burns, Atou Matabuana, the governor of Kongo Central region said.

“The flames spread rapidly engulfing nearby houses,” the UN’s Okapi radio reported.

Roads in the central African nation have often been neglected after years of war.

In 2010, 220 people were killed when an overturned oil tanker exploded and set fire to parts of a village in the country.

One witness told the AFP news agency that they had seen “53 charred bodies”.

A doctor at nearby hospital treating the victims said it was a race against time to treat survivors.

“We are trying to help them, we are trying to rehydrate them but sadly there are those who are dying,” Dr Tresor told the agency.

Mr Matabuana said local authorities had “taken measures to take charge of all the victims”.

However, the pro-democracy group Lucha criticised the response the lack of ambulances in a tweet.

The city of Kisantu is about 75 miles (120km) south-west of Kinshasa.

Matadi, at the other end of the highway, is on an estuary that leads to the Atlantic Ocean and is the DR Congo’s sole port.

Source: BBC

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