Tragedy as 99 people burnt to death in fuel tanker explosion

People watch burnt car and motorcycles after a fuel tanker explosion in Freetown, Sierra Leone Nov. 6, 2021. National Disaster Management Agency-Sierra Leone/Handout via REUTERS.

People watch burnt car and motorcycles after a fuel tanker explosion in Freetown, Sierra Leone Nov. 6, 2021. National Disaster Management Agency-Sierra Leone/Handout via REUTERS.

At least 99 persons scooping petrol from a fallen fuel tanker have been roasted to death while over 100 others were injured on late Friday, in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone.

The fuel tanker had fallen following a collision, but it later exploded, local authorities said.

The accident occurred in a busy street in the capital Freetown.

According to eyewitnesses, “many people rushed to the tanker to siphon off petrol after the collision with containers, shortly afterwards, the truck exploded.’’

Some surrounding shops and cars caught fire, they said.

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Staff at a hospital near the accident site confirmed to dpa on Saturday that rescue workers had brought in 80 bodies during the night.

The local television station AYV spoke of 400 victims on Saturday morning.

President Julius Maada Bio, who was attending the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow is expected in Freetown shortly, a government spokesperson said.

Due to the “tragic accident,’’ Bio had cancelled a planned trip to a meeting of the West African Economic Community ECOWAS in Ghana .(dpa/NAN)