Almost 100 Killed After Fuel Tanker Collision & Blast On Busy Sierra Leone Street

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by Tyler Durden
Saturday, Nov 06, 2021 - 01:30 PM

A fuel major tanker accident in Sierra Leone has left 99 dead and at least 100 more injured. It happened on a busy street in the capital of Freetown when the large fuel transport truck collided with a lorry, resulting in hundreds of gallons of fuel spilling out onto the roadway.

The spillage quickly ignited and engulfed people in the crowded street. "We've got so many casualties, burnt corpses," a top Sierra Leone emergency official was cited in Reuters as saying. "It's a terrible, terrible accident."

Stillframe of blast aftermath via social media video/Twitter

The death toll was so high given the large fuel leakage that resulted from the initial collision happened outside a busy supermarket, also at a densely-packed cross-section of streets. Area shops and sidewalk markets also soon went up in flames. 

Initial reports said a crowded bus may have also been engulfed in 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 Freetown," BBC reports. 

Additionally Reuters is reporting that more people may have died or been injured given they had actually rushed to the scene of the leakage, eager to collect badly needed fuel that was spilling onto the ground:

Victims included people who had flocked to collect fuel leaking from the ruptured vehicle, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, mayor of the port city, said initially in a post on Facebook that was later edited to remove the reference.

Further horrific details in separate international reports suggest that a "fireball spread into traffic" in a domino effect of sorts:

At the scene of the accident, there are body parts still lying in burnt-out vehicles. Also here are what's left of the petrol tanker and the truck that rammed into it.

Motorbike-taxi riders nearby started collecting the leaking fuel, causing a traffic jam. Shortly after, there was an explosion.

BBC adds that "The fireballs spread into the surrounding area and onto the vehicles caught in the traffic."

Later President Julius Maada Bio issued a statement saying he is "deeply disturbed by the tragic fires and the horrendous loss of life." It's among the worst fuel tanker explosion disasters in history, given the tragically high death toll.