A fire triggered after a gas tanker exploded at a ceramics factory in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on Tuesday December 3rd, left at least 23 dead and 45 injured, Brigadier General Hassan Abdullah, northern Khartoum's Bahri district police chief said, according to Reuters.
The incident happened mid-morning local time on Tuesday and forced mass evacuations as huge explosions devastated the area. Raging fires sent vast plumes of smoke skyward, which were visible across the city.
"The explosion was loud. Several cars that were parked in the compound of the factory also caught fire," an employee of an adjacent factory said.
The Central Committee of Sudan Doctors (CCSD) declared a citywide emergency, urging off-duty medics to help. The casualties include employees of various nationalities including some from Asian countries, according to CCSD.
Furthermore, the committee gave a different tally of casualties, saying that preliminary reports showed that at least 16 people were killed in the fire, increasing an earlier death toll of seven, and that more than 90 were injured.
The casualties were taken to several hospitals in the capital and six of the wounded were in a critical condition, Brigadier Abdullah said.
Police cordoned off the entire area of the industrial zone, in the north of the Sudanese capital Khartoum and a rescue operation was ongoing as the blast led to "heavy losses of life and property,” according to State Television.