At least 18 Indians are feared to have died and at leats 16 others remain missing following a tanker blast in Sudan, the Indian embassy in Khartoum said while cautioning that the death toll could rise.
Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar tweeted that “some Indian workers have lost their lives while some others have been seriously injured.”
To assist the people affected in the incident, the Indian government has also set up a 24-hour emergency hotline.
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) December 4, 2019
“Embassy is also putting out updates on social media. Our prayers are with the workers and their families,” the minister added.
Authorities said that besides the dead and missing from the factory, seven others are hospitalised in Al Amal Hospital with three of them being in the intensive care unit. It is believed that at least 68 Indians were present when the explosion took place.
— India in Sudan (@EoI_Khartoum) December 4, 2019
The Indian embassy’s statement added that “some of the missing may be in the list of dead which we are still to receive (from Sudanese authorities) as identification is not possible because of the bodies being burnt.”
The Sudanese government claimed that 24 people were killed in the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tanker blast and more than 130 injured in the incident. According to the Indian embassy’s statement, the workers came from all over India, including Delhi, Bihar, Haryana, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
There are currently around 2,700 Indians in Sudan. The settled Indian community in Sudan is around 1,500 strong and dates back to the nineteenth century.