OVER 40 FEARED DEAD IN LIBERIA TANKER EXPLOSION
Written by Oyebamiji Idowu on December 28, 2023
A fiery scene of tragedy unfolded in central Liberia, where a tanker truck carrying gasoline crashed and exploded, claiming the lives of over 40 people, a grim estimate that continues to rise. The tanker tipped into a ditch near Totota, a town roughly 130 kilometers from the capital Monrovia, leaving behind a trail of devastation and unnumbered families in mourning.
Dr. Francis Kateh, Liberia’s chief medical officer, painted a harrowing picture of the aftermath, describing bodies reduced to ashes, making precise casualty figures elusive. However, with heavy hearts, he placed the number of fatalities well above 40.
Earlier assessments from police officials, hoping the toll wouldn’t climb further, had put the number of deceased at 15, with at least 30 locals injured as they rushed to the scene, lured by the promise of fuel from the overturned tanker. This act of desperation, unfortunately, came at a horrific cost.
The tanker explosion casts a long shadow of grief across Liberia, raising questions about safety standards and highlighting the desperation fueled by fuel shortages in the country. While the full extent of the tragedy remains unfurled, it is clear that Liberia is grappling with a profound loss, and the road to recovery will be long and arduous.