At least 230 people have died and dozens were injured when a tanker truck filled with oil exploded and set fire to a village in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

Earlier, local officials said at least 110 people had been killed in the accident, which happened yesterday.

‘A tanker truck coming from Tanzania overturned in the village of Sange. There was a crush (of people) and a petrol leak, there was an explosion of fuel oil which spread through the village,’ said Vincent Kabanga, spokesman for the South-Kivu regional government.

The village is located around 70km south of the Sud-Kivu county town of Bukavu, close to the border with Burundi.

Dozens of homes in Sange were engulfed in the blaze after the accident, which a police officer based in Bukavu said had been caused by the truck's ‘excessive speed’.

The officer, who asked not to be named, added that many of those who surrounded the vehicle before it exploded were children.

The United Nations said none of its peacekeepers were killed, correcting an earlier statement saying that five of its soldiers had been killed.

‘There are no UN blue helmets dead,’ Olamide Adedeji, the UN mission's head of public information said.

Mr Adedeji had previously said five peacekeepers were killed trying to help civilians caught up in the incident.

UN helicopters began airlifting injured people to hospital, while Congo's army, which lost a number of men in the blast, has sent soldiers in to help with the rescue.