Freetown truck blast death toll rises to 131
The death toll in the devastating tanker explosion last week in Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown, has risen to 131, authorities said Another 63 people are still being treated at four Freetown hospitals, 19 of which are in critical condition, Mohamed Lamrana Bach, director of public affairs for the National Disaster Management Agency, said Wednesday.
The tragedy on Friday struck at a busy intersection in Wellington, east of Freetown, when a gasoline tanker was hit by a truck that later caught fire.
Victims included motorcycle drivers who rushed to collect leaking fuel from a tanker, roadside traders, and passengers trapped in minibusses traveling on a normally busy road.
Posters with photos of the missing and deceased were posted on the walls and buildings around the site. More than 70 bodies were charred beyond recognition, and relatives of the missing that they now assume that their loved ones were among them The crowd at a mass grave of victims of a gas tanker explosion in Freetown
A large number of people attended the mass graves on Monday when about 75 unidentified bodies were buried in the cemetery, which is also home to the victims of the 2014-15 Ebola outbreak and the 2017 landslide, the worst natural disaster in the country, which killed more than 1,100 people. … …
Government officials said tissue samples taken from each of the bodies will be sent overseas for testing.
“The corpses [were] numbered and tissue samples [were] numbered before they were taken for burial. They are sent overseas for DNA testing and it can take several months to get results, ”said Austin Kennan, Sierra Leone Country Director for Concern Worldwide, which is helping with the process.
“The graves are also numbered so that we can identify people in the coming months. We hope that this will bring comfort to those who have lost loved ones in this terrible and heartbreaking tragedy. ”
In the first days after the explosion, doctors announced that they were running out of supplies to treat the wounded. source witnessed a doctor meeting with potential supply donors in the award of one of the city’s hospitals, right next to several people with burn wounds.
Bah of the Disaster Management Agency said that Sierra Leone has faced larger disasters before in terms of the death toll, “but what makes this very unique … is unprecedented for this country. ”
The World Health Organization has pledged to provide 6.6 tons of essential items. Ba said several countries have also offered to send burn experts and clinical specialists. A blood donation campaign was also organized, and local residents were encouraged to donate blood to “rescue victims of the Freetown bombing.”
At the scene of the explosion, the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society registered the relatives and spouses of those killed and wounded, many of whom hope for government assistance.
“At the moment, we think that it is not very timely for us to start making promises about what we can do for them, but we will definitely do something,” Bah said.
Bah added that identifying the right families is a slow process due to fears that people outside the incident might make false statements out of poverty or despair We want to take our time to find the working strategy.