Sierra Leone: Death toll from tanker explosion in Freetown rises to 98

Sylvie Claire / November 7, 2021

At least 98 people were killed and 92 injured in a tanker explosion Friday night in the industrial area of Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) said Saturday night.
 
Data provided so far indicate that a total of 98 deaths have been recorded and 92 survivors are currently admitted to various hospitals in Freetown, the NDMA said in a statement.  
 
An earlier report, announced by the West African country's vice president, Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh, said 92 people had died and 88 people with severe burns were admitted to intensive care.
  
According to witnesses, the tanker exploded at a gas station after being hit by another truck. The fire then spread to the surrounding neighborhood.
  
Most of the victims are street vendors and motorcyclists trapped by the flames while trying to recover fuel escaping from the tanker, a witness and volunteer rescuer, Jusu Jacka Yorma, told AFP.
 
A nurse at a hospital where victims were evacuated confirmed to AFP that many women, men and children with serious injuries were received.
 
Several charred bodies were found in smoking carcasses at the site of the explosion and in the adjacent streets.
 
Saturday morning, while the rescue operations continued under the supervision of law enforcement agencies, many residents rushed to the scene of the tragedy in search of relatives, noted a correspondent of the AFP.
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