Sierra Leonean President Julius Maada Bio has declares three days of national mourning, starting Monday 8 November 2021. He stated this at the conclusion of his visits to survivors of the tragic fuel tanker explosion who are said to be responding to treatment at the Emergency Hospital and Choithrams.
The President was received at the fire inter-agency briefing centre of the National Disaster Management Agency, NDMA, At Wellington where the incident manager, Sinneh Mansaray, briefed him on the collective effort of responders.
Maada Bio and Vice President Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh also visited the fuel tanker explosion victims at Connaught and 34 military hospitals in Freetown.
“NDMA has coordinated the removal of 100 fatalities from the scene. Data collected from three main hospitals – Connaught with 148 casualties, among them 93 dead; 34 Military Hospital with 21 casualties and 6 dead and at the Emergency we have 18 casualties with no death reported so far,” Mansaray said.
He explained further that preliminary report from damage and loss assessment showed that 2 dwelling houses with 5 households, 5 shops, 2 vehicles were involved in the accident, 20 vehicles were caught in the blaze and 42 motorbikes, mostly from riders who took part in fuel scooping.
While addressing a large crowd of community people Maada Bio said he was there to commiserate with his fellow citizens who had lost their relatives and pray for those who are in the receiving treatment.
“Let us be law-abiding. We have lost over 100 of our compatriots in a single instance and now we are struggling with about 100 survivors in the hospitals. This is a moment to come together and avoid the blame game. We must come together as a community and deal with this disaster. We must say never again will we make such a mistake,” he said.
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