99 killed in fuel tanker blast in Sierra Leone capital

A fuel tanker explosion in Sierra Leone resulted in the deaths of at least 99 people.
Victims included those who had flocked in an attempt to gather fuel leaking from the vehicle.

According to the mayor, the extent of damage to Freetown is not yet known.

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Local authorities reported that at least 99 people were killed in Sierra Leone's capital, and more than 100 others were injured after a fuel tanker collided with another vehicle.

According to a Reuters reporter, fuel was still leaking from the tanker's wrecked tanker Saturday morning while soldiers and police tried to remove large crowds from the streets.

The road was littered with the bodies of burned people and blackened motorbike shells from several cars and motorcycles in the eastern suburb of Wellington. This is where hundreds of people had gathered.

According to Amara Jambai, deputy health minister, the death toll in the capital is currently at 99. More than 100 people are being treated in clinics and hospitals across the city.

Victims included those who had flocked in order to collect the fuel leaking from the ruptured car, Yvonne Aki–Sawyerr (mayor of the port city) stated initially in a Facebook post that was later removed to clarify the statement.

Brima Bureh, the head of the National Disaster Management Agency said, "We have so many casualties. Burnt corpses." In a video shared online, Brima Bureh, Sesay stated that there were "a lot" of victims. It's a horrible, terrible accident.

Shortly after the explosion, videos were shared online showing people running through thick smoke clouds as large fires lit up night sky. Reuters could not immediately verify the images.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, accidents involving tanker trucks have killed many people who were there to collect fuel spilled and were then hit with secondary blasts.

85 people died in a tanker explosion that occurred in Tanzania in 2019, while 50 were killed in a disaster similar in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2018.

According to the mayor, the extent of damage to Freetown is not yet known.

President Julius Maada Bio tweeted, "My deep sympathies to families who have lost loved one and those who have been injured as a consequence."

"My government will do everything possible to support the families affected."

(Reporting by Umaru fofana in Freetown, and Bhargav Aharya in Bengaluru;Written by Bhargav Achya and Alessandra PrenticeEditing: Clarence Fernandez Frances Kerry and Giles Elgood