At least 92 dead after oil tanker explosion in Sierra Leone 7 months ago

At least 92 dead after oil tanker explosion in Sierra Leone

The explosion happened in Sierra Leone's capital, Freetown.

At least 92 people have died after a fuel tanker exploded in Sierra Leone.

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The oil tanker collided with a lorry in the country's capital, Freetown, causing fuel to spill out. This then ignited, with the resulting inferno engulfing bystanders and vehicles at a busy junction.

The BBC reports that the explosion happened at a junction outside the busy Choithram Supermarket in the Wellington suburb in the east of the city at around 22:00 GMT on Friday.

Harrowing footage on social media shows the devastation after the incident, with charred bodies in the streets, and many more suffering horrific burns.

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One local news report said that a bus full of people was completely burnt, while nearby shops and stalls were caught up in the flames.

The state-run morgue is reported to have received more than 90 bodies and some 100 people are being treated in hospitals and health centres around the city.

In a tweet, the country's president Julius Maada Bio, said he was "deeply disturbed" by the incident and that the government will "do everything to support affected families."

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The mayor of the city, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr tweeted: "Deeply saddened to hear about the explosion along Bai Bureh Road, Wellington, after a bowser carrying fuel collided with a truck. My sympathies go to the families and loved ones of the victims of the explosion. May the souls of the departed rest in perfect peace."

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London mayor Sadiq Khan tweeted his condolences to those affected by the tragedy, writing: "Devastating news about the oil tanker explosion in Freetown, Sierra Leone. London’s thoughts and prayers are with everyone in your city @yakisawyerr."

Freetown is home just over a million people and has experienced a number of disasters in recent years.

In March this year, more than 80 people were injured in a major fire in one of Freetown's slums, leaving more than 5,000 displaced.

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In 2017, over 1,000 people lost their lives after heavy rains led to a mudslide that swept through the city. This left an estimated 3,000 people homeless.