Khartoum, Dec 4 (IANS) At least 23 people died and 130 others were injured in an explosion and fire at a ceramic factory in the Sudanese capital Khartoum, authorities said on Tuesday.
The blast hit Salomi ceramic factory when a fuel tanker was unloading gas at the tile manufacturing facility, according to the government, Efe news reported.
The Central Committee of Sudan Doctors urged health workers on social media to help the victims.
Khartoum State Police said the injured have been taken to five hospitals in the cities of Khartoum, North Khartoum and Omdurman.
Workers in adjacent factories were evacuated as black smoke and flames rose into the sky, causing panic in the industrial zone, according to the police.
Firefighters rushed to the scene of the blaze, with emergency services battling to stop the fire spreading to nearby factories.
Industry and Trade Minister Madani Abbas and Khartoum governor Mohamed Abdel-Rahmin and other officials have visited the scene.
The government statement said an investigation has been launched into the blast to avoid such incidents in the future and sent condolences to the families of the victims.
In March, a fire broke out due to a short circuit in offices at the old Republican Palace in Khartoum.
The palace was the official office of the Sudanese government before ousted President Omar al-Bashir switched to another in recent years.
Al-Bashir, who took power after he led a coup in the oil-rich country in 1989, was deposed and arrested in a military coup in April that came after months of anti-government demonstrations.