Fuel truck explodes in Saudi capital leaving scores dead or injured


A gas tanker truck exploded early Thursday when it crashed into a concrete flyover east of the Saudi capital Riyadh killing 22 people and injuring at least 111, an Al Arabiya correspondent reported.

Al Arabiya correspondent Khalid al-Matrafi said the accident had occurred at a junction on Khurays Road, one of the city's main arteries, and that the blast damaged neighboring houses and cars.

Further details behind the explosion and the deaths and injuries are yet to be confirmed.

Matrafi said civil defense teams controlled the fire resulting from the incident.

There was no immediate suspicion of terrorist links based on witness accounts, which suggested the fuel tanker exploded in a traffic accident under a bridge.

The incident happened at around 7.20 a.m. local time and an Al Arabiya correspondent said a gas leak following the collision led to the blast.

Sources from the Saudi Civil Defense confirmed the driver of the truck, of Asian nationality, was taken to hospital as ambulances and helicopters rushed to the scene.

An AFP photographer at the scene reported huge damage in the area with dozens of cars burned. He said he saw civil defence personnel carrying two bodies "completely charred."