Death Toll Hits 15


The aftermath of the explosion of a tanker carrying petroleum products in Totota, Bong County remains dire as several deaths has been reported following the incident.

Bong County is still reeling from shock and grief following Tuesday’s accident, where 15 people have now been confirmed killed and 36 others wounded after a fuel tanker exploded in Totota, lower Bong County.

TNR news gathered that the hospital is full owing to the large number of patients from the incident. Doctors and nurses who were not on duty have been called to reinforce service as the death toll rises.

Bong County Health Officer, Dr. Cynthia Blapooh said,“Unfortunately, we still have a lot of critically ill patients, including children and a pregnant woman, a total of 36 people.”

The tanker was involved in an accident on Tuesday afternoon which caused it to veer off the road and topple on its side, the police said on Tuesday. “Some people went there to take fuel from the tanker, in the process the tanker exploded,” said one police officer.

The tanker blast reportedly left over 15 persons dead. The tragic incident occurred during the late evening hours of Tuesday, December 26, as the tanker truck carrying gasoline, labeled,”God’s Willing,” overturned near the Upper Room Church and blasted into heavy flames.

Eyewitnesses state that some people from the community were attempting to collect the spilled gasoline when the explosion took place, resulting in severe injuries and fatalities.

“When the tanker fell, many people came from all over the town. Some were only looking as the gas was spilling but others brought containers and were collecting the gas,” an eyewitness disclosed. “So in no time, the tanker blasted and caught fire as many people began running helter-skelter. Many people could not escape the blast.”

Another eyewitness said some community members could not escape the fire because they had already come in physical contact with the gasoline. “The fire ran behind plenty of people because the gas was on them. I can’t see many people surviving, but if some do, they will suffer severe burns,” he said.

The exact number of casualties remains unknown at this timebut doctors at the Phebe Hospital have confirmed that up to present 15 persons have died as a result of the incident, while numerous victims are currently receiving medical treatment at the hospital in Gbarnga, Bong County.

Bong County Health Officer, Dr. Cynthia Blapooh, has confirmed that there are critically ill patients, including children and a pregnant woman, receiving care. Medical professionals are doing everything possible to save the lives of the victims.

Police sources in Bong also disclosed late Tuesday night that about 80 victims were rushed to the Phebe hospital, one of whom died upon arrival at Phebe, two were in very critical condition and transferred to Ganta, Nimba County, and 18 others were brought to JFK in Monrovia for further treatment.

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