Sierra Leone: At least 91 killed in fuel tanker explosion in Freetown
The country’s deputy health minister said that more than 100 people have been admitted to hospitals and clinics.
At least 91 people have died in Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown after a fuel tanker exploded early morning on Saturday, reported Reuters, citing hospital authorities.
The government of the West African country has not confirmed the toll but the state-run morgue in Freetown said that it received 91 bodies after the explosion.
Amara Jambai, the country’s deputy health minister, told Reuters that more than 100 people have been admitted to hospitals and clinics across the capital.
The explosion happened as a large crowd gathered to collect leaking fuel from the tanker that had collided with a bus, reported AP.
Videos posted on social media showed a large fire and smoke bellowing as people ran around. Other videos showed injured people with their clothes burned off being attended by nurses at a hospital.
President Julius Maada Bio condemned the “horrendous loss of life”.
“My profound sympathies with families who have lost loved ones and those who have been maimed as a result,” he tweeted. “My Government will do everything to support affected families.”
Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh visited two hospitals following the incident. He said the relief agencies would “work tirelessly”.
“We are all deeply saddened by this national tragedy, and it is indeed a difficult time for our country,” he said.
Tanker truck explosions have earlier killed many people in African countries.
In 2019, a tanker explosion in Tanzania had killed 57 people. In 2018, about 50 people were killed in a similar accident in the Democratic Republic of Congo.