Deaths increased to 98, and to 92 injured in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, after a fuel tanker exploding last night when it collided with another truck, the relief services confirmed today to Efe.
“As an institution responsible for disasters, we are currently on the ground, we have created an Incident Command Center to help coordinate management,” said Sierra Leone Disaster Management Agency Communications Director Mohamed Lamrane Bah . This official has warned that the death toll could increase due to the critical situation of some injured and has added that the injured people were evacuated to various hospitals in the capital and that there are social workers and experts helping the victims.RELATED
According to the local media The Sierra Leone Telegraph, some residents near the place where the explosion took place – which destroyed houses and other vehicles – left their houses after the collision of the vehicles with buckets and drums to collect the spilled fuel. It is a common practice in some African countries that causes an increase in the number of victims if the truck ends up exploding, and that last July in Kenya caused the death of thirteen people who approached a crashed tanker to extract the fuel. fuel from the vehicle and exploded later.
Mohamed Kamara, a witness to the accident, explained to Efe that it occurred at around 8:00 p.m. (same time GMT) when the tanker wanted to supply fuel to a service station. “Suddenly a trailer hit the tanker and it exploded,” Kamara explained, noting that it was then that people began to arrive to get fuel. “As they wanted to get fuel, the driver of the tanker told them to get away. The driver ran for his life; all the motorcyclists who were near the place died,” he added.
The mayor of Freetown, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, declared this morning on her Facebook account that she was “deeply” saddened after hearing the news and sent her condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims. “The videos and photos that circulate on social networks are shocking,” she said, indicating that she could not be there in person, but that the Police and the deputy mayor were at the scene supporting the National Agency for Disaster Management.
For his part, the President of Sierra Leone, Julius Maada Bio, declared on Saturday that he was “deeply shocked” and sent his condolences to those who have lost their loved ones, assuring that his Government “will do everything possible to support affected families “.