Disasters & Accidents

Death toll from Sierra Leone tanker explosion increases to 115

Freetown, Nov 9 (EFE).- The death toll from a fuel tanker explosion in Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown has hit 115, authorities in the West African country said Tuesday.

Some 62 inured people remain hospitalized, including 32 in critical condition, Mohamed Lamrane Bah, the communications director of the Sierra Leone Disaster Management Agency, told Efe.

The accident occurred on Friday when a trailer collided with a tanker truck carrying fuel, causing it to leak a large amount of fuel. Several people residing nearby rushed to the scene to siphon out petrol before the vehicle exploded.

Collecting spilled fuel from trucks that have crashed is a common practice in some countries in Africa.

Freetown’s main hospital is struggling to identify victims as bodies are severely burned, according to Kpawuru E. T. Sandy, the secretary-general for the Red Cross in Sierra Leone.

On Monday, Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio declared a three-day period of mourning and attended an inter-religious service in memory of the deceased.

Mohammed Mukhier, the director for Africa for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent, said last week that the incident was “heartbreaking” for a country affected by other recent disasters, such as the landslides in summer 2017 that killed more than 1,000 people, and the 2014-2016 Ebola epidemic that killed some 4,000 in Sierra Leone alone.EFE


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