By Caroline Somanje
A petrol tanker belonging to Zagaf Transport of Malawi exploded in Shangaya, Mozambique after it crashed on Saturday, Police have confirmed.
The driver, a Malawian identified only as Mdala, died in a Mozambique hospital three hours after the accident while another victim, identified as Paul De Souza, died on Wednesday at Malawi's biggest referral hospital, Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) from severe burns.
Shangaya Police officer Ussalo Castro said in an interview from Mozambique on Wednesday that a rescue team was sent from Malawi to siphon the fuel into another vessel when the tanker engine sparked and exploded, injuring seven people.
Castro said the truck driver died at Tete hospital. He did not have information on the others.
A member of staff at QECH said De Souza died at 3 am on Wednesday. He said De Souza was brought from Mozambique in the early hours of Monday with severe burns on his body.
A source from transport brokers who sought anonymity confirmed the accident which occurred after the driver lost control of the vehicle. He however, blamed a crowd which, he alleged, tried to loot the fuel, causing the explosion in the process.
"They created a time bomb by attempting to draw fuel from the fallen tanker. Mdala was taken to a local hospital while one of the injured was air lifted to QECH and admitted at the burns unit," he said-The Nation September 10, 2009.