Death toll in Peru tanker explosion rises to 30

LIMA, Peru (AFP) — The death toll from the explosion of a gas tanker in Lima last month has risen to 30, Peru’s ministry of health said Thursday.

Two women and a man were the most recent to succumb to burns from a fireball that occurred when the tanker truck carrying 10,000 liters (2,642 gallons) of liquefied gas exploded on January 23.

Initially, only two people were killed and 50 injured, but the death toll has continued to rise due to the severity of their burns.

Investigators believed the explosion was caused when a fuel hose became detached as the truck passed over a speed bump. It ignited a major fire that destroyed several houses and vehicles in the capital’s Villa El Salvador district.

“Our deepest condolences to the relatives,” Defense Minister Walter Martos said Thursday, pledging to visit all of the dozen still-hospitalized victims.

Martos said reconstruction was set to begin Monday and said the displaced might be relocated to other houses nearby.

The public prosecutor has accused tanker driver Luis Guzman, 74, of culpable homicide, though investigations are ongoing.

© Agence France-Presse