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Libya: Fuel depot blast in Sirte, at least 100 dead

A fuel depot blast killed at least 100 people in Sirte, Libya, Monday night.

Sirte libya 10 25 2011Enlarge
The town of Sirte has been heavily damaged by NATO airstrikes. (Philippe Desmazes/AFP/Getty Images)

A fuel tank exploded in the Libyan city of Sirte Monday night, killing more than 100 people, Agence France Presse reports.

The blast was caused by an electricity generator shortcircuiting, creating a spark that caught a nearby fuel tank.

Dozens of people were waiting in line to fill their cars when the tank exploded.

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National Transitional Council commander Leith Mohammed said:

"There was an enormous explosion and a huge fire. More than 100 people were killed and 50 others wounded."

He said the scene was "a heart-wrenching spectacle with dozens of charred bodies".

Authorities are still struggling to put out the fire, Mohammed said.

According to the BBC:

Images from the scene showed residents carrying human remains away on stretchers as plumes of black smoke continued to rise from the tank.

Sirte was the hometown and final hiding place of Muammar Gaddafi. It fell on Thursday after weeks of NATO airstrikes.

AFP describes it as:

a ghost town filled with the stench of death, where bodies still littered the streets on Monday.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/111025/libya-fuel-depot-blast-sirte-100-dead