Following the explosion, a video obtained by The Associated Press showed a huge fireball burning in the night sky, as several survivors with severe burns called out in distress.
The victims’ carbonised remains were in horrifying pieces over the site, awaiting removal to mortuaries. By Saturday morning, 92 corpses had been taken into Connaught Hospital’s mortuary. According to an employee, about 30 seriously burned individuals were not expected to survive.
Reported by an AFP correspondent on the scene, a number of remains had been brought to a cemetary on the outskirts of the city that had previously been used to bury victims of Ebola epidemics.
On Friday, a lorry collided with a fuel tanker, causing the explosion. The majority of the victims, according to witnesses, were street vendors and motorcyclists who were enveloped in flames while attempting to grab fuel seeping from the truck before it sparked.
At the funeral, President Julius Maada Bio made known his presence as solely to give a respectful burial to the victims, vowing a thorough inquiry to guarantee such a tragedy would not happen again.
According to the latest recent toll from the National Disaster Management Agency, 91 persons were also injured, some of them badly. However, health officials have issued an urgent call for blood donors in order to treat more than 100 burn sufferers who have been taken to hospitals.
Dr. Moses Batima, deputy director general of the health ministry’s medical supplies office, told AFP that they badly need medical items for acute burns cases. Infusion fluids, wound dressing material, bandages, and medications, he claimed, were in short supply, with hospitals already depleting their stocks.
According to Batima, some World Health Organization donations are beginning to arrive, but they are far from enough. He is also appealing to the world community for medical equipment aid in the most urgent instances.
Source: Associated Press