Fuel tank explosion rocks Libyan city Sebha
A fuel tank exploded in a massive blast in the southern Libyan city of Sebha late on Tuesday, injuring 17 people, the health ministry said in a statement.
Witnesses said the fire caused by the explosion had been brought under control.
The blast occurred weeks after a fuel tanker blast in another southern Libya city killed five people and injured 50.
Medical and security sources told Reuters that a fire had broken out in a truck transporting diesel fuel to a town in southern Libya.
Pictures posted on the internet by residents showed a charred truck and several other charred vehicles on both sides of the road in the Ezwaiya area of Bent Bayya municipality.
The three medical sources said five bodies were found burned either inside or near vehicles.
They added that the death toll was expected to rise as there were serious cases among the injured.
It was not clear if the driver of the truck was among the victims.
“The truck was involved in a traffic accident and overturned,” the security source said.
The source said that after the truck overturned, some people from other cars approached it to try and take fuel from the truck’s tank.
“(Those) citizens approached it to refuel without realising the magnitude of the danger,” the source said. “Unfortunately, the fire broke out in the truck and resulted in the casualties.”
Libya has suffered a fuel shortage since 2014, when the country was divided by a war in which rival factions battled for power following an uprising that toppled longtime leader Moammar al-Gaddafi in 2011.
In many cities, citizens have to wait in long queues, sometimes for hours, to refuel their vehicles.
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