Liberian health authorities said at least 40 people have been killed so far following a recent gasoline tanker explosion in the country’s north-central county of Bong.
Francis Kateh, deputy minister of health services and chief medical officer, told reporters on Wednesday that at least 83 others were injured and receiving treatment at different local hospitals after the explosion in the Totota area of lower Bong County on Tuesday.
The tanker lost control and veered off the road before falling into a ditch, Prince B. Mulbah, a deputy inspector general of the Liberia National Police, told reporters. Locals tried to scoop gasoline from the fallen tanker as they crowded around it when the explosion took place.
Local media reported that a mass burial was held for victims in Totota on Wednesday.
Liberian President George Weah said in a statement that “images of the tragedy are deeply disturbing” and called on the public to reach out to the affected families.
The president added that health authorities had got his full backing to beef up manpower and equipment where necessary in their frantic attempts to save lives.