MONROVIA: At least 15 people were killed and around 30 others sustained injuries when a tanker truck carrying gasoline exploded after crashing in central Liberia. The incident occurred in Totota, Bong County, as the tanker veered off the road and fell into a ditch, leading to an explosion.
Prince B. Mulbah, the deputy inspector general for the Liberia National Police, confirmed the grim toll, stating, “There were lots of people that got burnt. For now, we hold the number of deaths at 15.” The injured were rushed to nearby medical facilities as emergency services grappled with the aftermath of the explosion.
According to Malvin Sackor, a police officer at the scene, some locals attempted to collect leaking gasoline from the crashed tanker, unaware of the impending danger. The situation took a tragic turn as the tanker exploded, killing the people present at the site and causing severe injuries. Sackor noted that the police were still in the process of gathering accurate information regarding the total number of casualties.
Tanker Explosion in Liberia
Eyewitness Aaron Massaquoi from Totota provided a harrowing account, stating, “People climbed all on top of the truck taking the gas, while some of them had irons hitting the tanker for it to burst for them to get gas.” Massaquoi explained that despite warnings from the truck driver about the dangers of the spilling gas, people continued attempting to retrieve fuel.
“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,” Massaquoi recounted.
Cynthia Blapooh, a health officer from Bong County, disclosed that there were approximately 36 critically ill patients, including children and a pregnant woman, receiving medical attention.