At least 92 people have been killed and hundreds severely injured after an oil tanker exploded near Sierra Leone’s capital, officials and witnesses said today.
The explosion took place late on Friday after a bus struck the tanker in Wellington, a suburb just to the east of Freetown.
The mortuary at Connaught Hospital reported 92 bodies had been brought in by Saturday morning.
Video obtained by The Associated Press showed a giant fireball burning in the night sky following the explosion.
President Julius Maada Bio, who was in Scotland attending the United Nations climate talks on Saturday, deplored the “horrendous loss of life”.
“My profound sympathies with families who have lost loved ones and those who have been maimed as a result,” he tweeted.
Vice President Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh visited two hospitals overnight and said Sierra Leone’s National Disaster Management Agency and others would “work tirelessly” in the wake of the emergency.
“We are all deeply saddened by this national tragedy, and it is indeed a difficult time for our country,” he said on his Facebook page.