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Tanzania declares three days of national mourning for victims of tanker explosion

Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli has declared three days of national mourning for victims of the fuel tanker explosion on Saturday.

A press statement issued on Sunday said that during the three days of mourning, all national flags will be hoisted at half-mast.

“President Dr John Pombe Magufuli has declared three days of national mourning starting Saturday 10th August. In that period, all flags will fly at half-mast,” read the press statement by the Director of Communications at State House.

The accident happened in the city of Morogoro which is a major route for transporting cargo and fuel from the port city of Dar es Salaam, the country’s’ commercial capital.

Footage from the scene showed the truck engulfed in fierce flames and huge clouds of black smoke with burnt bodies lying on the ground.

Initial media reports had put at 60 the number of people who died in the accident while 70 others were reported to have sustained serious injuries.

On Sunday, the death toll from the tragedy rose to 71 after more victims succumbed to their injuries, according to the Prime Minister Mr Kassim Majaliwa.

According to Ms Jenista Mhagama, the Minister of State in the Prime Ministers’ office, the Tanzanian government will take care of all those who have been affected by the tragedy.

A team has also been constituted to oversee the identification of the bodies while family and friends are gathering at Morogoro Secondary School grounds to offer their DNA samples for easier identification of the bodies.

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