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K66 million lost in Mozambique tanker inferno

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It has emerged that the Malawian tanker that exploded in Tete Province in Mozambique on Thursday, killing more than 56 people and injuring more than 100, had carried 80,000 litres of petrol.

At the current price of petrol, which is K824.70 per litre, Malawi lost K65,976,000 in the inferno.

According to clubofmozambique.com, the tanker had carried 80,000 litres of petrol from the port of Beira to Malawi.

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Meanwhile, more accounts of what led to deadly carnage continue to emerge.

It is reported that the scene of the incident, Caphiridzange Village, is not on a direct route to Malawi, and it is not yet known why the Malawian driver diverted his vehicle from the normal route.

“The attempted theft occurred just after the driver had parked the vehicle. The tragedy occurred in the locality of Caphiridzange, when a crowd of people tried to steal fuel from the tanker,” wrote clubofmozambique.com

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In an interview with a Mozambican publication called ‘Noticias’, Tete provincial police commander, Fabiao Nhancolo, said the incident happened because the driver of the truck abandoned what is called national highway seven, which runs through the middle of Tete province to the Malawi border.

“During the theft of fuel, the vehicle caught fire and exploded. The thieves used a pump to drain fuel from the tanker to a smaller vehicle. Much of the theft took place in the morning. When they realised that there was still petrol in the tanker, people returned at about 2pm to continue stealing the fuel, and it was then that the explosion occurred,” Nhacolo is reported to have said.

The Mozambique Council of Ministers announced that a government delegation had travelled to Moartize on Friday to join the efforts of the Tete provincial government to support the survivors.

Heading the delegation was Minister of State Administration, Carmelita Namashalua, with Transport Minister Carlos Mesquita, Deputy Health minister Mouzinho Saide, and the director of the Mozambican relief agency, the National Disaster Management Institute (INGC), Joao Machatine also making the trip.

Mozambique had declared three days of mourning for the victims of the incident from Saturday.

The dead-who were burnt beyond recognition, are said to have been buried in a mass grave with the Mozambican government providing coffins for those identified by their relatives.

The Malawian driver and mechanic who were in-charge of the tanker, owned by Walkers Investment, are still at large.

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