At least 23 people have died in Sudan's capital, Khartoum, after a fire caused by an explosion swept through a factory, the government said.
The fire also wounded nearly 130 people, several seriously, the government said in a statement Tuesday, suggesting that the death toll from the fire could increase as burns were being treated at local hospitals.
Thick columns of black smoke rose to the sky after the fire broke out in a tile manufacturing unit in an industrial area in northern Khartoum.
"A fire broke out in an industrial area because 23 people died and more than 130 were injured," the statement said. "An explosion in a gas tank truck fired the fire."
The government asked citizens to donate blood to treat the injured.
"Preliminary observations indicate the lack of necessary safety measures and equipment at the factory, in addition to the random storage of flammable materials," the statement continued.
State television reported "great loss of life and property."
"The explosion was loud. Several cars that were parked in the factory complex also caught fire," said an employee of a factory adjacent to the AFP news agency.
Sudan has suffered several industrial accidents in recent months, which raises concerns about the adequacy of health and safety standards.
Earlier this year, a fire caused partial damage to the presidential palace in Khartoum.