Bamako - A fuel tanker exploded during a traffic accident in the centre of Mali's capital Bamako on Tuesday, killing six people and badly wounding 46 others, an emergency response official said.
The tanker swerved out of the way of a motorcycle, lost control, crashed on its side and exploded, a witness told Reuters. The flames engulfed onlookers who ran to put themselves out in nearby gutters, he said.
Photos of the scene circulating online showed a wide column of black smoke rising high into the sky. On the roadside, photos showed a line of charred motorcycles and cars.
"We found several people burned and the tank was knocked down when we arrived on the scene. At the moment, we have 46 seriously injured and six killed, over 30 motorcycles, a pick-up and a goods vehicle burned," said Lieutenant General Diarra, the director general of civil protection of Bamako District.
There was no immediate suggestion that the accident had any link with Islamist groups who frequently carry out violent attacks in the north and center of the restive West African country.