November 08, 2021

Sierra Leone: Oil Tanker Explosion Kills 98 People

An explosion near the capital of Sierra Leone has killed at least 98 people, and injured scores of bystanders.

According to local authorities, the incident occurred last Friday night, 5 November, when an oil tanker truck crashed into another truck that was turning into the station situated in Wellington, a heavily-populated suburb east of Freetown.

Sierra Leone’s National Disaster Management Agency released a press statement, explaining: “Both drivers came out of their vehicles and warned community residents to stay off the scene while trying to address a leakage emanating from the collision.”

Witnesses claim that crowds rushed to the scene to loot the spilled fuel, at which point an unknown source ignited the flammable cargo and caused a huge explosion, resulting in many casualties. Approximately 100 injured people were rushed to nearby hospitals.

Foday Musa, an intensive care unit staff member at Connaught Hospital, claimed that about 30 in-patients had sustained fatal burns and were not expected to survive.

Both Vice-President Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh and Freetown mayor, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, sent their condolences to the affected families.

Jalloh shared on his Facebook page: “We are all deeply saddened by this national tragedy.”

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