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Last Updated: Friday, 2 February 2007, 08:00 GMT
Philippine truck blast kills many
At least 22 people have been killed when a tanker exploded on a highway in the southern Philippines.

Initial reports said the truck was carrying liquefied petroleum gas, and exploded soon after crashing while going down a steep hill.

Police said the explosion, in Tigbao on the island of Mindanao, was so powerful that the tanker simply disintegrated.

Police said most of the casualties were in a bus which was passing when the tanker exploded.

Local reports said flames could be seen under the tanker before it blew up.

Military spokesman Major Gary Lacheca said soldier rushed to the scene after hearing loud blasts, adding: "We're helping evacuate people to safety."

Many of the victims were burnt beyond recognition.

"Some of the fatalities could not be identified because the explosion disfigured their faces," provincial police director Ramon Ochotorena told local radio.

At least 30 people have been injured, and many are currently in a serious condition in hospitals in the nearby town of Pagadian.

Country profile: The Philippines
20 Dec 06 |  Country profiles

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