A tanker truck explosion killed at least seven people and seriously injured about 30 others on Thursday in Haiti.

The incident took place in Hinche, a town located about 110 kilometres northeast of Port-au-Prince.

A witness told AFP that the tanker truck hit a wall, spilling gasoline. The truck was getting in place to unload at a Total service station. The flammable liquid spread, catching alight when it reached vendors cooking food on outdoor grills, according to Times Live reports.

“I saw people screaming as they were being burned alive, and no one could come to their aid,” another witness told AFP.

Seven people died immediately, Haiti’s Civil Defence office said. A number of burn victims were rushed to hospital for treatment.

Soldiers with the United Nations stabilisation force rushed to the scene, where they contained the fire.

As a result, four houses went up in flames and 22 vehicles were damaged, local authorities said in a preliminary assessment.