Liberian Town Mourns After Deadly Petrol Tanker Incident.
No fewer than 40 people in Liberia are tragically presumed dead after a tanker truck transporting petroleum products crashed and exploded near Totota on Wednesday.
The horrific incident sent shockwaves through the nation, casting a dark shadow over the year-end festivities.
Dr. Francis Kateh, Liberia’s chief medical officer, confirmed the grim estimate to local media, acknowledging the difficulty in verifying the exact number of casualties due to the fire’s intensity.
Local reports said the tanker overturned in a ditch roughly 80 miles from the capital, Monrovia, triggering the devastating explosion.
Frantic search efforts are reportedly underway, with medical teams diligently checking homes for missing individuals. Initial reports from police indicated 15 confirmed fatalities and at least 30 injured, with many suffering burns from the inferno.
The tragedy took a devastating turn when residents, unaware of the dangers, attempted to gather leaking fuel from the overturned tanker. According to Malvin Sackor, a police officer, this desperate act triggered the explosion, adding to the mounting casualties.
Eyewitness accounts paint a picture of chaos and desperation, with some people climbing onto the tanker and even using tools to extract fuel. Despite warnings from the driver about the inherent risks, the lure of gasoline amidst fuel shortages proved too strong for some, local media reported.