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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.

Go deeper

Updated Nov 6, 2021 - Economy & Business

At least 8 dead after crowd surge at Houston music festival

Travis Scott performs during 2021 Astroworld Festival at NRG Park in Houston. Photo: Erika Goldring/WireImage

At least eight people were killed and hundreds more injured after a crowd at Houston's Astroworld music festival surged toward the stage Friday night, officials said.

Driving the news: The crowd surge, which officials described as a "mass casualty incident," happened just after 9pm local time as rapper Travis Scott performed. Houston fire chief Sam Peña said that people began to "compress toward the front of the stage, and that caused some panic" and overwhelmed security.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Congressional leaders clinch support for crucial defense bill, debt limit votes

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer passes waiting reporters on Tuesday. Photo: Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Congress has found a shortcut to pass its annual defense funding bill and raise the debt limit.

Driving the news: The House voted Tuesday night on two major bills — one creating a one-time, fast-track process for the Senate to raise the debt ceiling with just 51 votes, and another passing its annual defense bill.

House passes annual defense bill

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The House voted to pass the annual defense bill 363-70 on Tuesday night, authorizing nearly $770 billion in funding for defenses and national security programs.

Why it matters: The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) still has to clear the Senate, but the House passage greatly increases the chances that the must-pass defense bill will move through both chambers of Congress before the end of the year.