Nov 6, 2021 - World

Oil tanker explosion kills scores in Sierra Leone

People look on at burnt cars in the aftermath of a fuel tanker explosion in Freetown on November 6,

The scene from the oil tanker explosion in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Photo: Saidu Bah/AFP via Getty Images

An oil tanker explosion in Sierra Leone killed at least 98 people and injured dozens more, AP reported, citing hospital officials.

Driving the news: The explosion took place late Friday after a collision in Wellington, a suburb of the capital, Freetown. Crowds had gathered to collect fuel leaking from the tanker, per AP.

  • Hospital officials told AP they expected the death toll to rise. About 100 injured people were taken to hospitals and about 30 severely burned people at Connaught Hospital were not expected to survive.
  • It's unclear what caused the leaking fuel to ignite, but a massive explosion followed the leak, per AP.

What they're saying: "We've got so many casualties, burnt corpses," Brima Bureh Sesay, head of the National Disaster Management Agency, said in a video shared online, per Reuters. "It's a terrible, terrible accident."

  • President Julius Maada Bio, who was in Scotland attending COP26, tweeted that he was "deeply disturbed by the tragic fires and the horrendous loss of life around the Wellington PMB area."
  • "My profound sympathies with families who have lost loved ones and those who have been maimed as a result. My Government will do everything to support affected families," he added.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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