A fuel tanker exploded in the capital Freetown, killing at least 99 people and injuring scores more.
Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani has expressed his condolences to the president of Sierra Leone, Julius Maada Bio after a deadly fuel tanker explosion in Freetown.
On Friday, at least 99 people were killed and over 100 injured when a fuel tanker exploded following a collision with a lorry at an intersection in the capital of Freetown. The collision caused the tanker to spill fuel before it quickly ignited.
Tragic scenes showed destroyed and bodies strewn across the streets as congestion built up in the city.
WHO is mobilizing specialized supplies to support #SierraLeone in response to the deadly explosion in Freetown. We are working to deploy burn-patient care experts. We will provide more support as needed at this terrible time for the people of Sierra Leone.
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) November 6, 2021
Nearby Connaught Hospital became overwhelmed with the influx of patients while more of the injured were located to other clinics and hospitals, including a military hospital.
“The situation at the hospital, especially Connaught hospital … is overwhelming. Inadequate medical consumables and bed capacity. NGO partners were requested to support with equipment, medical commodities and food,” said programme manager at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies Swaray Lengor.
Lengor said the death toll would likely rise. With Sierra Leone’s already under-funded healthcare system, the crash provided even further pressure and challenges.
The system’s inability to sustain mass numbers of patients is due to the Ebola epidemic that heavily weakened the nation’s health services. Several medical staff passed away during the two year epidemic from 2014 to 2016.
The World Health Organization agreed to send supplies and deploy burn injury specialists.
In a tweet on Saturday, WHO said it is “mobilising specialized supplies to support #SierraLeone in response to the deadly explosion in Freetown. We are working to deploy burn-patient care experts. We will provide more support as needed at this terrible time for the people of Sierra Leone,”
Meanwhile, President Bio said he was “deeply disturbed by the tragic fires and the horrendous loss of life around the Wellington PMB area.
“My profound sympathies with families who have lost loved ones and those who have been maimed as a result. My Government will do everything to support affected families.”