Congo officials: At least 50 dead after tanker truck catches fire

LOSS Firefighters try to put out a fire on an oil tank in Es Sider port in Libya on December 26

Officials and witnesses say the vehicle collided with a bus in Mbuba village, 200km southwest of the capital Kinshasa, when it went ablaze and lit up locals who rushed to the wreckage to collect leaking fuel.

The accident occurred on a highway linking the capital Kinshasa to the country's sole seaport at Matadi on the Atlantic Ocean.

It took place near the city of Kisantu, about 120 kilometers (100 miles) west of Kinshasa.

"Two mobile clinics are evacuating the injured", he added.

"We are mourning the death of about 50 people". Numerous injuries occurred as flames from the crash "spread rapidly engulfing nearby houses", the UN's Okapi radio said.

Matabuana said local authorities had "taken measures to take charge of all the victims".

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But photographs on social media showed the injured being transported on motorbikes and private cars.

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

The U.N. peacekeeping mission in Congo said it had offered assistance for the injured, with nine ambulances en route to help with medical evacuations.

"Some of the residents had come to steal fuel".

In 2010, at least 230 people were killed in DR Congo when a fuel tanker overturned and exploded, unleashing a fireball that tore through homes and cinemas packed with people watching World Cup soccer, Reuters reported.

Roads in the central African nation are notoriously bad after years of war and neglect.

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