Death toll in Peru tanker explosion rises to 15

LIMA, Peru (AFP) — The death toll from the explosion of a gas tanker in Lima has risen to 15 following the death of a child with severe burns, Peru’s health ministry said Monday.

Nearly 50 people were injured, including six children, when a tanker truck carrying 10,000 liters of liquefied gas exploded on Thursday, igniting a major fire that destroyed several houses and vehicles in the capital’s Villa El Salvador district.

Five of the dead were children, the latest a seven-year-old, Health Minister Elizabeth Hinostroza said.

“The injured have extensive burns. They are serious and they are fighting for their lives,” said Hinostroza.

At the end of last week, Brazil sent 18,000 square centimeters of human skin to help treat the injured.

Investigators believe the explosion was caused when a fuel hose became detached as the tanker truck passed over a speed bump.

The driver has been released from custody after a court found no reason to keep him in pre-trial detention.

The public prosecutor has accused driver Luis Guzman of culpable homicide.

© Agence France-Presse