updated 11/26/2008 1:42:53 PM ET 2008-11-26T18:42:53

At least 21 people were killed Wednesday after a tanker carrying gasoline overturned on a highway and exploded as people were trying to take the fuel, police said.

Seth Oteng, a regional police commander, said the accident occurred on a highway between the towns of Tanoso and Techiman, 180 miles west of the capital of Accra.

Oteng said once the tanker began leaking, people rushed to try to collect the spilling gasoline. They died when a spark caused the fuel to explode, engulfing the area in flames.

An unknown number of injured people were rushed to a local hospital.

Oteng said the cause of the tanker's accident was not immediately known.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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