JUBA : At least 31 people have been killed and 68 others injured in South Sudan's Lol region after a fire broke out in Korok East county on Sunday evening, a local official said on Tuesday.
Michael Mathok Wal, the region's information, youth and culture minister, told Xinhua that the incident destroyed 138 households and about 10,000 heads of cattle, including goats, sheep, adding that it is the first of its kind.
Wal said the fire quickly engulfed five remote villages of Marial Agar, Karpalou, Karpahol, Pathon and Magaar Mickuach.
"The incident killed 31 people on the spot and injured 68 others, and some are in critical condition. It is likely that the death toll would rise as the wounded are receiving treatment, though not sufficient," said Wal.
Ateny Wek Ateny, President Salva Kiir's spokesman, delivered the president's condolence message to the grieved families and described the incident as a national tragedy.
Ateny said the office of the president will conduct an independent investigation into the tragedy in a bid to prevent future recurrences.
"The office of the president has learned and been disheartened by the shocking incident that occurred on Sunday evening in Korok East County, in which innocent lives were lost. We would like to convey our heartfelt sympathies to the bereaved families," Ateny told State-owned radio. Enditem