June 23, 2024
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OIL & GAS

Fuel Tanker Explosion Kills Over 40 in Liberia

Over 40 people died after a tanker carrying gasoline (petrol) overturned and exploded in Totota, Bong County, in central Liberia.

The incident occurred along a road in Totota, about 130km (80 miles) from the capital, Monrovia on Tuesday, Energy News Africa.

Liberia’s Chief Medical Officer, Francis Kateh who disclosed to newsmen said it was difficult to determine the number of deaths but estimated the deaths to be over 40 people.

Dr. Kateh revealed that a pregnant woman was among the dead, adding that some of the bodies were burnt to ashes.

He told local broadcaster Super Bongese TV that more than 83 people have been admitted to the hospital after sustaining various degrees of injuries following the incident.

Patients with more serious injuries had been transferred to hospitals in Monrovia for treatment, Dr. Kateh added as carried by BBC.

The cause of the crash is not yet clear.

Eyewitnesses account suggests that the tanker burst into flames soon after people rushed to the site to scoop fuel from the tanker.

Video footage shows that a large number of people, including children, had gathered around the tanker after it overturned.

An eyewitness from Totota, Aaron Massaquoi, told AFP that “people climbed all on top of the truck taking the gas, while some of them had irons hitting the tanker for it to burst for them to get gas.

“People were all around the truck and the driver of the truck told them that the gas that was spilling they could take that … but some people were even using screwdrivers to pit holes in the tank”.

Some had buckets and jerrycans and others were on top of the tanker when it burst into flames.

Liberia’s President George Weah has expressed his condolences to the families of the dead, saying he found images of the tragedy “deeply disturbing”, his office said.

Mr Weah has given the health authorities his “full backing to beef up manpower and equipment where necessary in their frantic effort to save lives”, the statement adds

 

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