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Explosion at Afghan Gas Terminal Kills 10 Children

The dead and injured were from a camp for Afghans displaced by 14 years of war which was located next to the gas terminal.
August 25, 2015, 2:45pm
A man inspects the scene of a gas tanker explosion in Herat, Afghanistan, 25 August 2015. (Jail Rezayee/EPA)

At least 10 children and one adult were killed by a series of explosions and subsequent blaze which began at a gas storage facility outside the western Afghan city of Herat on Monday night, officials said.

The casualties were residents of an adjacent camp for people displaced by the fighting that has ravaged the country for nearly 14 years.

At least 18 people were also injured in the incident, and four of those have been sent to Iran for treatment after sustaining burns to more than 90 percent of their bodies, Herat Regional Hospital spokesman Rafiq Sherzai told the Associated Press on Tuesday. Provincial police spokesman Abdul Rauf Ahmadi and the local governor's office also confirmed the death toll, according to AFP.

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Footage posted by Afghanistan's TOLO News showed flames and clouds of smoke rising into the night sky.

Sherzai added that the the inferno began when a truck carrying gas canisters exploded with such force in the company compound that it was thrown into the camp.

Cylinder gas is commonly used for cooking in Afghanistan and accidents are common due to lax safety standards.

Herat, a business hub and Afghanistan's third largest city, is close to the Iranian border and has enjoyed relative peace throughout the conflict. In May last year, however, gunmen launched an assault on the Indian Consulate, while the Taliban attacked the American consulate in 2013.

More than 805,000 people have now been displaced within Afghanistan since the war began, according to United Nations figures.

Posted by Baset Saeedi on Monday, August 24, 2015

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