Death toll in Peru tanker explosion rises to 14: ministry

A fireman walks past the tanker truck that exploded in a Lima neighborhood on January 23, 2020, killing several people and igniting houses and cars (AFP Photo/STRINGER)

Lima (AFP) - The death toll in the explosion of a gas tanker in Lima rose to 14 following the death of a woman hospitalized with severe burns, Peru's Deputy Health Minister Victor Bocangel said Saturday.

Bocangel, who met with a group of patients injured by the blast, told reporters that the latest victim was 39 years old.

The dead also included five children and a 40-year-old man from Venezuela, the ministry said earlier.

Nearly 50 people were injured, many seriously, when a tanker truck carrying 10,000 liters of liquefied gas exploded early Thursday, igniting a major fire that destroyed several houses and vehicles in the capital's Villa El Salvador district.

Investigators believe the explosion was caused when a fuel hose became detached as the tanker truck passed over a speed bump as it approached an intersection.

The driver, initially reported to have died in the crash, in fact survived.