19 Sep 2015

Explosion death toll rises to 186

9:48 am on 19 September 2015

At least 186 people are now thought to have been killed in an oil tanker explosion in South Sudan two days ago.

South Sudan oil tanker explosion

One of around 50 injured patients who were evacuated to Juba on flights provided by the Red Cross, the South Sudanese government and the UN arrives at Juba hospital. Photo: AFP

The incident occurred on Wednesday on a road about 250 kilometres west of the capital Juba, close to the small town of Maridi.

The victims included local people who tried to scoop up the fuel spill. Maridi local government director John Saki told media about a thousand people crowded around the tanker to gather fuel after it crashed on the roadside, with many coming from a nearby school.

Doctors were reportedly struggling to cope with limited supplies to treat severe burns, including a lack of painkillers.

South Sudan oil tanker explosion

A fuel tanker carrying petrol overturned and exploded as people gathered to siphon off the spilled fuel in South Sudan. Photo: AFP