Eight dead in Benin burning waste blast: mayor

September 11, 2016 11:40 AM EDT

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COTONOU (Reuters) - An explosion at a waste dump in Benin earlier this week killed eight people, local mayor Robert Tolegbon said on Sunday.

The blast occurred late on Thursday at a giant trash heap in Tori, a town about 40 km (25 miles) northwest of the capital Cotonou, as locals were sifting for food. Previously, the health ministry said two people had died.

Safety standards for waste management are poor in much of West Africa and debris is rarely filtered to eliminate toxic or flammable materials.

(Reporting by Allegresse Sasse; Writing by Emma Farge)



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