Sierra Leone declares 3 days of mourning after deadly tanker explosion

President Maada Bio declares three mourning days in Sierra Leone [Image: courtesy]
FREETOWN, Sierra Leone—After a fuel tanker explosion in the capital Freetown, Eastern Suburb of Wellington Sierra Leone that left more than 100 people dead, President Julius Maada Bio announced on Sunday three days of mourning starting Monday, followed by two days of prayers.

“In solemn tribute to the departed faithful, I declared three days of national mourn being from Monday, Nov.8 To Wednesday, November 10, 2021, throughout the Republic of Sierra Leone. Flags will be flown at half-mast.

“Prayers will be said for the deceased and the injured throughout Sierra Leone on Friday, Nov. 12, and Sunday, Nov. 14, respectively,” Bio said in an official statement on Sunday evening.

He said he was “deeply disturbed by the tragic fires and horrific loss of life” and the government will do everything to support the affected families.

Ninety-two victims with various degrees of burns have been admitted to hospitals in Freetown, according to the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA).

The NDMA has launched an emergency blood drive that will start from 8 a.m. and continue 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

It also said the government has provided ‘sufficient medical supplies to victims in the various hospitals.

“The two vehicles collided on the highway as the tanker was about to enter a nearby gas station to unload its fuel,” why at the same time both drivers got out of vehicles and ask the residents within to stay away from the scene while trying to repair a leak from the collision.” The agency said.

It is said that in the meantime some community members rushed to the scene and took advantage of the leak to recover fuel and store it in makeshift structures nearby.

“The recovery of the fuel caused a major explosion which led to the fire that occurred,” the NDMA said.

The African and International communities have expressed their sympathy to the West African country