At least 99 people were killed and more than 100 injured in a fuel tanker explosion in Freetown, capital of Sierra Leone. The explosion occurred when a truck collided with the vehicle. The mayor of the city reported that most of the victims were local residents who filled cans and bottles with gasoline from a damaged tank.
Yvonne Aki Sawyer, the city’s mayor, said the explosion occurred in the Wellington neighborhood in the eastern suburbs of the city, at a gas station, when the tanker truck ran over. It also confirmed that a rescue operation was underway immediately.
At least 99 people have died and more than 100 have been hospitalized across the city, Deputy Health Minister Amara Gambai said. As reported by Yvonne Aki Sawyer, the city’s mayor, most of the victims were local residents filling their cans with gasoline leaking from a damaged tanker.
– There are a lot of victims. Many charred bodies, said the head of the Central Crisis Management Agency, Prima Boreh Sesay. “It’s a terrible accident,” he wrote on social media.
Pictures circulated online showed a charred body lying in the street and burning buildings around the scene.
Condolences from the President of the Republic
The authorities have not yet issued any statement summarizing the tragedy. The country’s president, Julius Maada Bio, who has not yet returned to Sierra Leone after a trip abroad in connection with his participation in the COP26 climate conference in Scotland, posted his condolences on Twitter.
“My deepest sympathies are with the families who have lost loved ones and those who have been injured,” he wrote. He stressed that his government “will do everything in its power to help those affected by the tragedy.”
Mayor Yvonne Aki Sawyer confirmed that the full extent of the tragedy was not yet known. “The police and my deputy are on site to help the rescue teams,” she said.
Main image source: Reuters
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