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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - At least 23 people were killed and 130 injured in a huge explosion that ripped through a tile factory in Sudan’s capital of Khartoum on Tuesday,
Several of the wounded were in critical condition, the Sudanese government said, suggesting the death toll could rise.
A gas tanker abruptly caught fire and exploded, destroying the factory. The government ordered an investigation into the cause and what it called a lack of basic safety measures at a site full of combustible material.
Social media videos showed a ball of fire launched into the sky, sending workers running for cover, as plumes of dense black smoke billowed above the plant.
Firefighters cleared the area within a few hours, pulling bodies out on stretchers and leaving the factory a charred ruin.
“We felt a huge quake. We rushed to see what was happening and were shocked to find a fire and everyone fleeing,” witness Said Al Hassan told AP.
William, a factory employee, told Reuters: "I don't understand what happened. I heard a blast and ran.
"One man in a jallabiya [kandura] was running behind me. He suffered a serious injury and I was also injured in my leg."
Hussein Omar, a volunteer at the scene, said: "I pulled out 14 bodies that were completely burnt."
Police official Mohammed Hassan said a “technical mistake” occurred while the fuel truck was unloading cargo.
The government expressed its “deepest condolences” to the families of victims and wished a “swift recovery to all wounded".
Sudan has suffered various industrial accidents in recent months, raising concerns about the adequacy of health and safety regulations.
This year, a fire caused partial damage to the presidential palace in Khartoum.
Updated: December 4, 2019 01:36 AM
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