Sierra Leonean President Julius Maada Bio has declared three days of national mourning after a fuel tanker explosion on Friday killed more than 100 people.
“In solemn tribute to the departed faithful, I declare three days of national mourning from Monday, Nov. 8 to Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021, throughout the Republic of Sierra Leone. Prayers will be said for the deceased and the injured throughout Sierra Leone on Friday, Nov. 12, and Sunday, Nov. 14 respectively,” said the Sierra Leon head of State.
According to Maada Bio the country must learn from the incident, adding that those injured would be given free treatment.
“I have cut short my overseas trip to see the dead and meet survivors of the fuel tanker explosion,” said Mr. Maada Bio.
He said he was setting up a task force to look into the incident, and make recommendations on how to avoid the accidents in future.
Flags are being flown at half-mast to remember the victims.
The country’s National Disaster Management Agency says the explosion of a loaded fuel tanker resulted in the deaths of more than 100 people and the loss of properties in the capital Freetown.
“The two vehicles collided on the highway as the tanker was about to enter a nearby gas station to unload its fuel. Both drivers got out of their vehicles and asked community residents to stay away from the scene while trying to repair a leak from the collision,” the agency said.
NDMA also says it launched an emergency blood drive today that will continue 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
It notes the government has provided sufficient medical supplies to victims in the various hospitals.
According to witnesses the people close to the tanker when the explosion happened had turned to ash to the point of no recognition.
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