Baghdad tanker blast accident kills at least 9 people, security forces say

A gas tanker exploded in Baghdad on Saturday night killing at least nine people and injuring 13 others, security forces said, adding that it was an accident.

The explosion, heard across much of Iraq's capital, happened in a car park near a football field in a residential area of eastern Baghdad.

"Nine civilians were killed and 13 injured" when the tanker exploded, commander of security forces in Baghdad, Ahmad Salim, said in a statement.

"Experts are working on a report detailing the reasons for the explosion but so far, we've been told that there was a technical problem in the tank and that that was the reason for the explosion."

"The explosion is an accident and not an act of terrorism," he added.

Reports on the ground said the windows of nearby buildings were blown out and vehicles in the area were damaged.

"We were at home and felt a very strong blast and a smell of gas," said local resident Mohammed Azizia, who lives just 100 metres from the blast site.

"It felt like we were suffocating," he added. "Our doors and windows were blown out."

Iraq's recently elected President Abdul Latif Rashid promised there would be an investigation to identify those responsible for the accident.

Safety standards in both the transport and construction sector are frequently flouted in Iraq, and accidents are a common occurrence.

In April 2021, more than 80 people died in a hospital fire in Baghdad, after badly stored oxygen bottles exploded.