Map of Sierra Leone.
08 Nov 2021

98 dead in tank truck explosion in Sierra Leone

A fuel tank truck has exploded last Friday near Sierra Leone's capital, killing at least 98 people and severely injuring dozens of others. 

The explosion occurred late Friday when the tanker collided with another truck as it was pulling into a gas station near a busy intersection in Wellington, just east of the capital Freetown, according to the National Disaster Management Agency.

"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," the agency said.

Nearly 100 injured people were taken to area hospitals, officials said. About 30 severely burned people at Connaught Hospital were not expected to survive, according to Foday Musa, a staff member in the intensive care unit, reports CBC News. 

Vice-President Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh visited two hospitals during the night following the accident and he said Sierra Leone's National Disaster Management Agency and others would "work tirelessly" to help victims and affected families. 

"We are all deeply saddened by this national tragedy, and it is indeed a difficult time for our country," he said on his Facebook page.