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Wau fuel station burst into flames

In a rare bizarre incident, a fuel station located in the Central Business of Wau town, Western Bahr el Ghazal State, burst into flames, causing panic among residents.

Authorities said the cause of the Wednesday evening inferno remained unclear but confirmed the destruction of two fuel supply trucks. Hundreds of residents thronged the area to witness the huge fire that threatened to spread to the nearby shops.

Wau town’s acting Mayor, Goc Deng Goc, told Radio Tamazuj that the trucks designated to deliver fuel in Amet of Abyei Administrative Area were refuelling some barrels when the explosion happened. “The explosion occurred on one truck and advanced to the other,” Goc said when he visited the scene.

Contacted on the incident, State Acting Police Commissioner, Major General Simon Yasi, confirmed the explosion and said that the situation was under control.

 “Yes, there was an explosion near Mayo Girl Secondary School. The cause of the fire is not known, but the fire started at a fuel station, and security forces were dispatched to secure the scene,” he said.

Yasi directed fuel station operators to install fire extinguishers at their premises to mitigate such threats of fire.

“All fuel stations should have fire extinguishers for their own safety and the safety of the public in case of fire outbreaks,” he said.

The police boss further appealed to the national government to provide states with firefighting trucks.

“There should be a provision that all states are given firefighting trucks to handle such incidents,” he said.

Meanwhile, Alfred Angok Uliny, an activist and the Executive Director of a local organization, Alliance Land Rights South Sudan, condemned the incident, describing it as “poor planning” by the Wau town authorities.

He said fuel stations should not be allowed to operate within residential areas. “In town planning, there are residential areas, business areas, industrial areas, and agricultural areas. These things should not be mixed up, and now the lives of Wau residents are in danger as we have around 42 fuel stations within residential areas,” Uliny said.

He appealed to the town management to suspend any licenses given to fuel stations to operate in inappropriate places.