Fuel, generic
Photo for illustrative purposes Image Credit: Pixabay

Bagota: At least seven people burned to death and 46 were injured after the contents from an overturned tanker exploded in a fireball in northern Colombia, police said Monday.

Dozens of people had gathered around the tanker after it overturned and were trying to siphon off fuel when it ignited, causing an inferno, police said.

"We believe there are at least seven people burned to death in this tragic accident," said Fabian Ospino, mayor of the town of Pueblo Viejo, where the accident happened, in a video posted on social media.

The accident happened on the road between the cities of Barranquilla and Santa Marta on Colombia's Caribbean coast, police said.

Local police subsequently confirmed the explosion had killed seven people and left a further 46 people with burn injuries.

Hospital services in the city of Barranquilla, around 45 kilometers (28 miles) from the accident, are reported to be close to saturation due to the coronavirus outbreak in one of Colombia's worst-hit region.