99 die, many injured in explosion while scooping fuel from accidented tanker

No fewer than 99 persons were killed siphoning fuel from a tanker truck that collided with a lorry in the West African country of Sierra Leone.

The accident occurred on Friday evening in a busy street in the capital of Freetown.

According to witnesses, many people rushed to the tanker to siphon off petrol after the collision with containers. Shortly afterwards, the truck exploded.

Some surrounding shops and cars caught fire, they said.

Staff at a hospital near the accident site confirmed on Saturday that rescue workers had brought in 80 bodies during the night.

The local television station AYV spoke of 400 victims on Saturday morning.

President Julius Maada Bio is expected in Freetown shortly, a government spokesperson said.

He was attending the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow.

Due to the “tragic accident,” Mr Bio had cancelled a planned trip to a meeting of the West African Economic Community ECOWAS in Ghana.

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