Freetown tanker explosion
November 30, 2021
On November 5, 2021, a gasoline tanker and a truck collided in Freetown, Sierra Leone. At least 144 people were killed and more than 100 were injured in the accident when the tanker exploded and caught fire.
At around 22:00 (GMT) on November 5, 2021, a tanker loaded with gasoline attempted a turn outside a supermarket in Wellington's Freetown suburb. In the process, a truck loaded with granite collided with a tanker at an intersection, and fuel leaked. Sierra Leone's National Disaster Management Agency said the two drivers got out of their cars and warned local residents to avoid the scene. Gasoline was spilled from the tanker and local residents and motorbike taxi riders tried to fill the containers with oil. The fireballs created by the explosion engulfed vehicles, people and passengers trapped in the traffic jam caused by the initial crash. Vendors at Freetown's Yvonne Aki Sawyer market said that people gathered in trucks swept the leaked fuel into containers and exploded. He said that the damage was further increased by leaving it close to the scene. Many people were injured or killed, including passengers in cars and buses very close to the scene of the accident. Many victims were trapped in vehicles, and buses were full of people near the accident. After fuel poured into the streets, nearby shops and markets began to set on fire. News broadcasted by local media showed blackened corpses surrounding the tanker. At least 99 people have been confirmed dead and more than 100 injured. Three days after the explosion, the death toll rose to 101.