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Death toll rises to 183 after South Sudan fuel tanker explosion

The death toll from a fuel tanker explosion in South Sudan has reached 183, officials said.

Commissioner Wilson Thomas Yanga of Maridi County, in the state of Western Equatoria, said at least 60 more people are unaccounted for.

A tanker carrying petrol overturned on Wednesday outside Maridi and exploded shortly after hundreds of nearby villagers had gathered to siphon fuel.

Presidential spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny said the explosion was an accident caused by a cigarette.

Jan Wynands, a hospital doctor with the International Committee of the Red Cross, said there were 80 patients with burns covering over 50% of their bodies, but equipment is lacking.

Mr Wynands said he needs catheters, syringes, painkillers, and blades for surgery.

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