The horror happened at a busy junction in Freestone, which is the capital of Sierra Leone
Image: AFP via Getty Images)
At least 92 people have been killed after an oil tanker exploded near Sierra Leone’s capital, authorities have confirmed.
More than 100 others have been wounded in the blast in Freestone, the country’s capital.
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.
“We’ve got so many casualties, burnt corpses,” said Brima Bureh Sesay, head of the National Disaster Management Agency, in a video from the scene shared online.
“It’s a terrible, terrible accident.”
Images shared widely online showed several badly burned victims lying on the streets as fire blazed through shops and houses nearby.
AFP via Getty Images)
Accidents with tanker trucks in Sub-Saharan Africa have previously killed scores of people who gathered at the site to collect spilled fuel and were hit by secondary blasts.
But Ms Aki-Sawyerr said the extent of the damage in Freetown was not yet clear.
Police and her deputy were at the scene to assist disaster management officials.
“My profound sympathies with families who have lost loved ones and those who have been maimed as a result,” President Julius Maada Bio tweeted.
“My Government will do everything to support affected families.”
The port city, which is home to just over a million people, has faced several serious disasters in recent years.
In March, more than 80 people were injured after a major fire in one of the city’s slums left more than 5,000 people displaced.
And in 2017 over 1,000 people were killed after heavy rains led to a mudslide that swept through the city, leaving around 3,000 people homeless.
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