At least 50 people were killed on Saturday and more than 100 had second-degree burns when a tanker truck in Democratic Republic of Congo collided with a bus and, as villagers rushed to collect the leaking fuel, caught fire, witnesses and officials said.
"We deplore the deaths," the interim governor of Kongo-Central province, Atu Matubuana, told The Associated Press. Officials were preparing to identify the charred bodies and bury them, Matubuana said.
The accident occurred in the village of Mbuba, not far from Kisantu city and about 200km southwest of the capital, Kinshasa.
Kisantu is on the main highway between the capital and the country's Matadi seaport.
Health officials have been instructed to prepare local hospitals to "do everything necessary" to treat all of the victims, the interim governor said.
In 2010, more than 200 people were killed when a tanker truck overturned and burned in DRC's South Kivu province. Many of the victims had been trying to collect the leaking fuel when it caught fire.
* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER