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Sierra Leone declares 3 days of mourning after deadly tanker blast

Sierra Leone President Julius Maada Bio announced three days of mourning starting Monday followed by two days of prayers after a fuel tanker explosion in the capital Freetown’s eastern suburb of Wellington left more than 100 people dead.

“In solemn tribute to the departed faithful, I declare three days of national mourning from Monday, Nov. 8 to Wednesday, Nov. 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 Sunday evening.

He said he was “deeply disturbed by the tragic fires and the 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. Monday 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.

A loaded fuel tanker exploded late Friday in east Freetown after colliding with a truck, leaving 108 people dead and 92 others injured. Most of the victims were street vendors and motorcyclists who tried to scoop up the leaking fuel before it ignited. Enditem


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