Morogoro tanker explosion

Last updated
Morogoro explosion
Tanzania location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Morogoro (Tanzania)
Africa location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Morogoro (Africa)
Date10 August 2019
Time~ 8:30 a.m. EAT (~5:30 UTC) onwards
Location Morogoro, Tanzania
Coordinates 06°48′17″S37°40′09″E / 6.80472°S 37.66917°E / -6.80472; 37.66917 Coordinates: 06°48′17″S37°40′09″E / 6.80472°S 37.66917°E / -6.80472; 37.66917
TypeGas explosion
CauseCrash between a fuel tanker and a motorcyclist [1]
Non-fatal injuries55

On 10 August 2019, a fuel tanker exploded in Morogoro, Tanzania, killing at least 89 people and injuring at least 55 others. [2] [3] It was one of the largest disasters of its kind in Tanzania. [4]

Morogoro Municipality in Morogoro Region, Tanzania

Morogoro is a town with a population of 315,866 in the eastern part of Tanzania, 196 kilometres (122 mi) west of Dar es Salaam, the country's largest city and commercial centre, and 260 kilometres (160 mi) east of Dodoma, the country's capital city. Morogoro is the capital of the Morogoro Region. It is also known informally as "Mji kasoro bahari," which translates as "city short of an ocean/port."

Tanzania Country in Africa

Tanzania officially the United Republic of Tanzania, is a country in East Africa within the African Great Lakes region. It borders Uganda to the north; Kenya to the northeast; Comoro Islands at the Indian Ocean to the east; Mozambique and Malawi to the south; Zambia to the southwest; and Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain, is in north-eastern Tanzania.


The incident happened in the town of Morogoro, which is located 185 km (115 mi) west of Dar es Salaam. A fuel tanker crashed and people gathered at the accident site to loot the fuel. The tanker exploded during the looting, initially burning 60 people to death. Video footage of the incident began circulating on social media, in which a large number of people can be seen collecting fuel in yellow containers and jerrycans. [5] Another 55 people were injured in the incident and many suffered serious burns. [2]

Dar es Salaam Largest city in Tanzania

Dar es Salaam, or simply Dar, formerly known as Mzizima, is the former capital as well as the most populous city in Tanzania and a regionally important economic centre. Located on the Swahili coast, the city is one of the fastest growing cities in the world.

Jerrycan robust liquid container made from pressed steel

A jerrycan is a robust liquid container made from pressed steel. It was designed in Germany in the 1930s for military use to hold 20 litres of fuel. The development of the jerrycan was a significant improvement on earlier designs, which required tools and funnels to use, and it contained many innovative features for convenience of use and robustness. After widespread use by both Germany and the Allies during the Second World War, today similar designs are used worldwide for fuel and water containers, some of which are also produced in plastic. The designs usually emulate the original steel design and are still known as jerrycans. The original design of jerrycan and various derivatives remain in widespread military use.


The explosion occurred at 8:30 am EAT, 20 minutes after a fuel tanker overturned while trying to avoid colliding with a motorcyclist. [6] The crash happened near Msamvu Bus Terminal. [7] The road on which the crash occurred connects Morogoro to the capital Dar es Salaam and is heavily used. [6] Witnesses say that a crowd of at least 150 people gathered at the scene. The crowd began stealing the fuel using yellow jerrycans [8] and continued even when the tanker burst into flames. [9] A video was posted by local news channel Kwanza TV on Twitter, showing groups of people attempting to gather fuel around the tanker. [10]

East Africa Time time zone used in eastern Africa

East Africa Time, or EAT, is a time zone used in eastern Africa. The time zone is three hours ahead of UTC (UTC+03:00), which is the same as Arabia Standard Time, Further-eastern European Time, Moscow Time and Eastern European Summer Time.

Msamvu Bus Terminal is located in Morogoro municipality in Tanzania. It is an International Bus Terminal. The main concern is congestion of buses, especially from 09:00 to 10:30 am when most of the buses arrived from Dar es Salaam on the way to other regions and neighbouring countries. Also, buses from southern highlands and neighboring southern countries which are Malawi and Zambia together with those from Lake zone converge at Msamvu Bus Terminal during late hours making the station too congested.

Twitter Global micro-blogging Internet service

Twitter is a microblogging and social networking service on which users post and interact with messages known as "tweets". Tweets were originally restricted to 140 characters, but on November 7, 2017, this limit was doubled to 280 for all languages except Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Registered users can post, like, and retweet tweets, but unregistered users can only read them. Users access Twitter through its website interface, through Short Message Service (SMS) or its mobile-device application software ("app"). Twitter, Inc. is based in San Francisco, California, and has more than 25 offices around the world.

One of the witnesses, who was identified as Daniel Ngogo, [11] described the scene as chaotic with a huge fire which made it "challenging to rescue victims. The situation is really bad. Many people died here – even those who were not stealing fuel – because this is a busy place". [12] At 3:00 pm EAT, rescue operations finished and all the bodies were removed from the scene. [6] The regional police commissioner, Wilbard Mutafungwa, stated that many people suffered burns as a result of the explosion. [13]

Police commissioner is a senior rank in many police forces.

Burn Injury to flesh or skin, often caused by excessive heat

A burn is a type of injury to skin, or other tissues, caused by heat, cold, electricity, chemicals, friction, or radiation. Most burns are due to heat from hot liquids, solids, or fire. While rates are similar for males and females the underlying causes often differ. Among women in some areas, risk is related to use of open cooking fires or unsafe cook stoves. Among men, risk is related to the work environments. Alcoholism and smoking are other risk factors. Burns can also occur as a result of self-harm or violence between people.

Official police figures reported 75 deaths and at least 55 people injured. [2] Most of the victims were identified as local motorcycle taxi drivers who were present at the scene and people who attempted to gather fuel. [14] Morogoro regional commissioner Stephen Kebwe said it was the worst disaster in the region, [15] and warned of more possible deaths. [16]

Taxicab type of vehicle for hire with a driver

A taxicab, also known as a taxi or a cab, is a type of vehicle for hire with a driver, used by a single passenger or small group of passengers, often for a non-shared ride. A taxicab conveys passengers between locations of their choice. This differs from other modes of public transport where the pick-up and drop-off locations are determined by the service provider, not by the passenger, although demand responsive transport and share taxis provide a hybrid bus/taxi mode.

Stephen Kebwe is a Tanzanian CCM politician and Member of Parliament for Serengeti constituency since 2010.


Afterwards, government spokesperson Hassan Abbas said, "the rescue operations finished by 3 p.m. local time. The scene was cordoned off and all bodies were removed from the scene into a local hospital for identification." [17]

President of Tanzania John Magufuli expressed condolences as well as dismay with how the crowd acted. [18] [19]

See also

Related Research Articles

A gas explosion is an explosion resulting from mixing a gas, typically from a gas leak, with air in the presence of an ignition source. In household accidents, the principal explosive gases are those used for heating or cooking purposes such as natural gas, methane, propane, butane. In industrial explosions many other gases, like hydrogen, as well as evaporated (gaseous) gasoline /petrol or ethanol play an important role. Industrial gas explosions can be prevented with the use of intrinsic safety barriers to prevent ignition.

The 2006 Atlas Creek pipeline explosion was a disaster that occurred on 12 May 2006 at Atlas Creek Island, near Lagos, Nigeria, when a pressurised petrol pipeline that had been ruptured by thieves exploded, killing 150 people. The Nigerian Red Cross said that vandals had originally drilled holes into the pipe to steal fuel, and that local people had then come down with jerrycans to fill them with fuel. Approximately five hundred jerrycans were found at the scene of the explosion, which incinerated anyone within a 20-metre radius. Many victims were buried nearby in a mass grave.

2006 Abule Egba pipeline explosion Pipeline explosion in Lagos, Nigeria resulting in hundreds of deaths

The 2006 Abule Egba pipeline explosion is a disaster that occurred in the heavily populated neighborhood of Abule Egba in Lagos, Nigeria, on 26 December 2006, killing hundreds of people. There were originally believed to be around 500 deaths, but it was later confirmed that the loss was smaller.

2008 Ijegun pipeline explosion

On 15 May 2008 a pipeline explosion occurred in the community of Ijegun, a suburb north of Lagos, Nigeria. The explosion took place after a bulldozer struck an oil pipeline. The Lagos police have stated that the explosion appears to be an accident, and not the work of thieves, as in past pipeline explosions near Lagos. Construction workers accidentally broke an underground pipeline from which fuel started to spill out; moments later an explosion occurred.

Molo fire

An oil spill ignition occurred in Molo, Kenya, on January 31, 2009, and resulted in the deaths of at least 113 people and critical injuries to over 200 more. The incident occurred when an oil spill from an overturned truck burst into flames as onlookers attempted to obtain remnants of the spilled fuel for personal use. Rescuers suggested the cause to be static electricity, an accidentally-discarded cigarette, or an individual angered at a police blockade who sought vengeance. Police have described the carnage as Kenya's worst disaster in recent times, occurring in a country hit by frequent fuel shortages and just days after a supermarket fire killed 25. In June 2009, another similar accident occurred, when an oil tanker fire killed at least four and injured nearly 50 people at Kapokyek village near Kericho. The victims were siphoning fuel from the tanker that had fallen off the road.

The 2009 Kunduz airstrike took place on Friday 4 September 2009 at roughly 2:30 am local time, 7 km (4.3 mi) southwest of Kunduz City, Kunduz province in northern Afghanistan, near the hamlets of Omar Kheil by the border of the Chahar Dara and Ali Abad districts. Responding to a call by German forces, an American F-15E fighter jet struck two fuel tankers captured by Taliban insurgents, killing over 90 civilians in the attack.

Energy accidents

Energy resources bring with them great social and economic promise, providing financial growth for communities and energy services for local economies. However, the infrastructure which delivers energy services can break down in an energy accident, sometimes causing much damage, and energy fatalities can occur, and with many systems often deaths will happen even when the systems are working as intended.

Okobie road tanker explosion Road tanker accident and subsequent deadly explosion in Nigeria

The Okobie road tanker explosion occurred on 12 July 2012 when a tank truck in Okobie, Nigeria, fell into a ditch, spilled its petrol contents, and subsequently exploded, killing at least 121.

On 11 May 2016, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) conducted a series of attacks in and near Baghdad, the capital of Iraq, killing at least 110 people and wounding more than 165. According to ISIL, attacks were aimed at Shia fighters.

Caphiridzange explosion

The Caphiridzange explosion occurred on 17 November 2016. 80 people were killed and more than a hundred people injured in a fuel tanker explosion in the town of Caphiridzange in Mozambique's Tete Province. The fuel tanker was en route to Malawi at the time and carried 30,000 liters of gasoline. The government subsequently declared three days of national mourning on 19 November to pay tribute to the victims.

June 2017 Pakistan attacks 23 June 2017, a series of terrorist attacks took place in Pakistan

On 23 June 2017, a series of terrorist attacks took place in Pakistan resulting in 96 dead and over 200 wounded. They included a suicide bombing in Quetta targeting policemen, followed by two blasts at a market in Parachinar, and the targeted killing of four policemen in Karachi.

2017 Bahawalpur explosion Gas explosion

On 25 June 2017, a tanker truck exploded near Ahmedpur East in Pakistan's Bahawalpur District, killing 219 people and injuring at least 34 others. The truck overturned when its driver attempted to make a sharp turn on the N-5 National Highway. Once the news of the accident spread to nearby villages, hundreds of residents rushed to the scene to loot the truck of its cargo. The truck then exploded; early reports suggested the explosion was caused by someone lighting a cigarette.

Two bombings on 5 September 2018 at the Maiwand Wrestling Club in Qala-e-Nazer in Dasht-e-Barchi, a predominantly Hazara neighborhood of western Kabul, left at least 20 people dead and 70 others wounded, the deadliest attack on Kabul’s Shia since the 15 August suicide bombing. The responsibility for the attacks was claimed by ISIL.

Events of 2019 in Tanzania.

On 12 January 2019, an explosion occurred at a bakery on Rue de Trevise in Paris' 9th arrondissement. Two firefighters, a Spanish tourist, and another woman were killed, and forty-seven others were injured. According to local prosecutor Remy Heitz, the apparent cause of the explosion was a gas leak. Firefighters were present at the bakery before and at the time of the blast while investigating a suspected gas leak.

On 18 January 2019, a pipeline transporting gasoline exploded in the town of Tlahuelilpan, in the Mexican state of Hidalgo. The blast killed at least 137 people and injured dozens more. Mexican authorities blamed fuel thieves, who had illegally tapped the pipeline. The explosion was particularly deadly because large crowds of people had gathered at the scene to steal fuel. Security forces tried to persuade people to move away from the scene, but they were outnumbered and asked not to engage with civilians for fear of causing a violent confrontation. The leak was reported at 17:04 CST (11:04 UTC), and the explosion occurred two hours later at 19:10. It took about four hours for responders to extinguish the fire.


  1. Mwanza, Faraji; Kottasová, Ivana (10 August 2019). "At least 61 people killed in a fuel tanker explosion in Tanzania". CNN. CNN. Retrieved 11 August 2019.
  2. 1 2 3 "Death toll climbs to 75 in Tanzania fuel tanker blast". Gauteng, South Africa. 12 August 2019. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  3. Msowoya, Tumaini (15 August 2019). "Death toll in Tanzania fuel tanker tragedy climbs to 89". The Citizen. Tanzania: Mwananchi Communications . Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  4. Death toll from Tanzania's fuel tanker explosion rises to 75: official
  5. "Death toll of Morogoro fuel tanker tragedy rises to 75". The Citizen. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  6. 1 2 3 CNN, Faraji Mwanza and Ivana Kottasová. "At least 61 people killed in a fuel tanker explosion in Tanzania". CNN. Retrieved 11 August 2019.
  7. "Tanzania oil tanker explosion kills more than 60 people". UPI. Retrieved 11 August 2019.
  8. Reuters, Nuzulack Dausen and Fumbuka Ng'wanakilala. "Tanzania tanker blast kills dozens as crowd siphons fuel". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved 11 August 2019.
  9. "Tanzanian police say 62 killed when siphoned tanker explodes". The Charlotte Observer. 10 August 2019. Retrieved 10 August 2019.
  10. "At least 57 dead in Tanzania fuel tanker explosion". Retrieved 11 August 2019.
  11. "At least 62 people burned to death after fuel tanker explosion in Tanzania". Sky News. Retrieved 11 August 2019.
  12. Mikelionis, Lukas (10 August 2019). "Tanker truck in Tanzania explodes as people siphon fuel, at least 62 killed". Fox News. Retrieved 11 August 2019.
  13. "57 killed in fuel tanker explosion in eastern Tanzania town". Los Angeles Times. 10 August 2019. Retrieved 11 August 2019.
  14. "Tanzania fuel tanker blast kills 60". Retrieved 11 August 2019.
  15. "62 Killed in Tanzania Tanker Blast as Crowd Siphons Fuel". News18. Retrieved 11 August 2019.
  16. "Tanzania fuel tanker blast kills 60". Retrieved 11 August 2019.
  17. Kottasová, Ivana (11 August 2019). "At least 61 people killed in a fuel tanker explosion in Tanzania". CNN.
  18. "Tanzanian police say 62 killed when siphoned tanker explodes". Retrieved 11 August 2019.
  19. "Tanzanian president mourns victims in fuel tanker explosion that kills at least 60 - Xinhua |". Retrieved 11 August 2019.