Death toll climbs to 16 in Peru gas truck blast

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LIMA, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- Some 16 people have died as a result of last week's gas tanker truck explosion in Peru's capital Lima, the Health Ministry said on Wednesday.

The latest victim to succumb to his injuries was identified as Joaquin Ambrosio Navarrete, 27, who had been in critical condition at the Loayza Hospital since the Jan. 23 blast left him with severe burns on his entire body.

As many as 31 people remain hospitalized, including 10 minors, said the ministry, meaning the death toll could still rise.

Brazil's Ministry of Health announced it sent Peru 20,000 centimeters of human skin for transplants on the burn victims.

Another 11 people who sustained minor injuries in the accident were released from hospital the same day as the explosion in the city's Villa el Salvador district.

Authorities say the tanker truck apparently hit a bump in the road that led to a gas leak, sparking a fire and explosion which damaged several nearby homes. Enditem

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