At least 23 people have been killed in Sudan’s capital Khartoum after a fire triggered by an explosion tore through a factory, the government said.
The blaze also injured nearly 130 people, several critically, the government said in a statement on Tuesday, suggesting the death toll from the fire could rise as the burned were being treated at local hospitals.
Thick plumes of black smoke billowed into the sky after the blaze broke out at a tile manufacturing unit in an industrial zone in north Khartoum.
“A fire erupted in an industrial area because of which 23 people were killed and more than 130 injured,” the statement said. “A blast in a gas tanker triggered the fire.”
The government called on citizens to donate blood to treat the wounded.
“Preliminary observations indicate a lack of necessary safety measures and equipment at the factory, in addition to random storage of flammable materials,” the statement continued.
State television reported “heavy losses of life and property”.
“The explosion was loud. Several cars that were parked in the compound of the factory also caught fire,” an employee of an adjacent factory told the AFP news agency.
Sudan has suffered from various industrial accidents in recent months, raising concerns about the adequacy of health and safety regulations.
Earlier this year, a fire caused partial damage to the presidential palace in Khartoum.