BENIN, officially Republic of Benin, republic (2005 est. pop. 7,460,000), 43,483 sq mi (112,622 sq km), W Africa, bordering on Togo in the west, on Burkina Faso and Niger in the north, on Nigeria in the east, and on the Bight of Benin (an arm of the Gulf of Guinea) in the south. Porto-Novo is the capital and Cotonou is the largest city and chief port. Other principal towns include Abomey , Ouidah , and Parakou .
Fuel Truck Blast Kills 35 in Benin
Officials in Benin say a tanker truck has exploded, killing 35 people who were stealing fuel when it ignited. Hospital workers say another 80 people were wounded in the accident Thursday, many of them seriously.
Reports say the truck had either broken down or run off the side of the road in the northern town of Porga, when villagers arrived to steal the fuel it was carrying. The truck then burst into flames. Officials say they counted the charred remains of more than 20 people at the scene.
Fuel explosions have long been a problem in West Africa, especially in neighboring Nigeria, where thieves often try to illegally tap into the country's vast network of oil pipelines.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.