PORT-AU-PRINCE –– The Civil Defence Office (CDO) said that at least seven people were killed and 30 others injured when a truck carrying fuel caught fire and exploded today.
The CDO said that the accident occurred in the town of Hinche, 65 miles northeast of Port-au-Prince when the truck hit a wall and spilled fuel as it was preparing to unload at a Total oil company service station.
The flammable liquid spread and caught fire when it reached vendors cooking food on outdoor grills. The flames quickly returned to the tanker, which set off the explosion.
The CDO said seven people died on the spot, and the burn victims were rushed to area hospitals and to Port-au-Prince for treatment.
Hinche, like many Haitian towns outside of the capital, has no fire department.
Soldiers with the United Nations stabilization force (MINUSTAH) rushed to the scene and were able to contain the blaze.
Four homes and 22 vehicles were also destroyed.