CAGAYAN DE ORO JOURNAL - The death toll from a tanker explosion in Zamboanga, the southern Philippines has risen from 27 to 50 after authorities accounted for the remains of more victims, officials said Saturday.
At least 65 others were hospitalized, said provincial social welfare officer Conchita San Diego.
Many of the victims were passengers of a minibus that was following the tanker truck or motorists who were slowed down by the traffic caused by the accident, San Diego said.
A destroyed passenger bus that tried to pass the overturned tanker when the explosion occured.
The tanker truck was negotiating a downhill stretch of the highway in Tigbao town in Zamboanga del Sur province Friday when its brakes failed, causing it to slam into the side of the mountain before overturning and killing its driver, police said.
Minutes later, someone shouted there was a fire from beneath the truck, but before people could flee, the tanker exploded with such force that it completely demolished the vehicle and blew away the roof of the minibus and flung it to the opposite lane, provincial police chief Senior Superintendent Ramon Ochotorena said.
The truck owner told police the tanker contained liquefied carbon dioxide that was to be delivered to a Coca-Cola plant in Zamboanga city, Ochotorena said.