December 19, 2016 (JUBA) – At least six people have been confirmed dead after a fuel tanker exploded at Sherikaat, a suburb of the South Sudanese capital, Juba on Monday.
The tanker came from neighbouring Uganda to South Sudan’s capital.
“Six people died and others are injured. We are still investigating the circumstances leading to the accident and how the tank caught fire,” said Daniel Justin Boula, the spokesperson for South Sudan Police Service.
According to eyewitnesses, the fuel tank veered off the highway and rammed into shops at the roadside, crushing victims in the process.
“It was over-speeding and knocked a boda-boda and lost control,” said Sherikaat resident John Deng was said he was standing oppose to the scene of the accident.
Flames blew into the skies at 8:36pm local time in Juba on Sunday in Sherikaat. There was panic as residents ran for safety.
“I thought there was an attack on the area and some people started writing on [social media site] Facebook that ‘unknown gunmen’ were raiding Sherikaat. We were frightened,” said Mary Kiden, also a resident of Sherikaat.
Kiden said she counted three dead bodies. Other witnesses put the death toll higher but police insisted that there are no more victims. South Sudan Red Cross officers at site declined to comment.
A hotel made of iron-sheets from the roof to the wall was reduced to ashes by Monday morning. There were three dead bodies, burnt beyond recognition, witnesses disclosed.