Over 40 Feared Dead After Liberia Tanker Crash

FILE: Scene of an explosion

In central Liberia, a tanker truck crashed and burst, killing over 40 people, the chief medical officer of the nation informed local media on Wednesday.

About 130 kilometers (80 miles) from the capital Monrovia, on a route in Totota, the gasoline truck crashed and overturned into a ditch.

Dr. Francis Kateh estimated that about 40 persons were murdered in the tragedy, but he told local network Super Bongese TV that it was hard to pinpoint the exact number of casualties because some had been reduced to ashes.

“We have our team going from home to home to check those that are missing,” he told AFP.

Police earlier put the death toll at 15 and said at least 30 people were injured as locals gathered at the scene.

“There were lots of people that got burned,” said Prince B. Mulbah, deputy inspector general for the Liberia National Police.

Following the collision, some residents started to take the escaping gas when the tanker exploded, killing some and injuring others, according to another police officer, Malvin Sackor.

He said that the police were still compiling the overall death and injury toll.

“People climbed all on top of the truck taking the gas, while some of them had irons hitting the tanker for it to burst so they could get gas,” Totota eyewitness Aaron Massaquoi told AFP.

“People were all around the truck and the driver of the truck told them that the gas that was spilling they could take that,” Massaquoi said.

“He told them not to climb on top of the tanker and that they should stop hitting the tanker…. but some people were even using screwdrivers to put holes on the tank.”

Written by PH

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