News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

Mozambique declares three days mourning

Mozambique: Fuel fire victims receiving treatment. Twitter photo

In the aftermath of the fuel truck explosion that killed 73 persons, Mozambique has declared three days of national mourning beginning from Saturday.

The accident occurred in of Caphiridzange in Tete province, near the country’s border with Malawi.

People were siphoning petrol from the truck when it exploded.

More than 100 others were injured, some of them critically, a statement said.

At a meeting which was chaired by President Filipe Nyusi, also set up a commission of enquiry into the incident.

Meanwhile, 13 bodies of the victims were buried in a mass grave Friday.

According to VOA Radio the bodies were charred, unrecognised and not claimed by family members.

Information ministry director Joao Manasses told journalists that the tanker may have been ambushed by residents.

The tanker had been carrying fuel to Malawi from the port city of Beira, Africa Review .

Mozambique is one of the world’s poorest countries, with more than half the 24 million population living below the poverty line.

It gained independence from Portugal in 1975 but is still suffering from the effects of a 16-year civil war that ended in 1992.

The number of victims was expected to rise as dozens more were critically injured in the accident.

But provincial officials said the accident occurred after the driver had diverted from a main road to sell fuel to the villagers, a common though illegal practice.

They said the truck caught fire after being struck by lightning.

The government in Maputo dispatched investigators to Tete on Friday to look into the cause of the blast.

The truck was transporting its load from the port of Beira, on the Indian Ocean in central Mozambique, to Malawi, the landlocked nation north of Tete Province.