Six people were killed and many others injured after a truck carrying gasoline exploded in Sabha, local sources have confirmed.

The fuel truck collided early Monday in the Bint Baya district on the road linking Sabha and Ubari.

Onlookers rushed to the over-turned tanker to collect the spilling fuel despite the risk, eyewitnesses said.

The truck burst into flames long after the accident, killing six people and burning more than 50 others, according to the Health Ministry.

Online images showed ferocious flames pouring from the blazing tanker, and the Sabha Medical Center said it received 30 cases from Ubari suffering burns from the incident on Monday morning.

Smuggling of oil products is contributing to fuel shortages in the southern region as illicit traders take advantage of the security vacuum that followed the 2011 uprising.

The illegal trade is carried out in several forms, from the wholesale redirection of tanker trucks intended for government-supplied fuel stations to individuals buying subsidized fuel and reselling it at market rates.