The fire disaster which occurred on the 5th November, 2021 claimed over 100 lives and several others badly injured and currently being treated in 4 different hospitals.
According to eye witnesses and video footages captured from the scene, the fuel tanker and the truck collided on the highway at Wellington PMB junction while the former was about entering into a nearby filling station to discharge its fuel.
Dozens of people took advantage of the leakage caused by the collision and were seen with containers scooping fuel and storing it in nearby makeshift structures shortly before the blast.
Some others were trapped in a heavy traffic in private and passenger vehicles at the time of the explosion with only a few being able to escape the disaster.
As auxiliary body to the government and also being first responders in disasters and other forms of emergencies, Sierra Leone Red Cross Society immediately along with partners like the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) intervened by moving corpses from the crash site to the public morgue, referrals of injured victims to public health facilities for treatment and deployment of volunteers to render Psychosocial First Aid, PSS and community Sensitization on the risk of hoarding the fuel scooped from the leakages.
Whilst there’s about 98 people severely injured, the death toll continues to rise. The President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, His Excellency Retired Brigadier Dr. Julius Maada Bio in his speech to the nation on Sunday 7th November, 2021 declared a 3 days national mourning from the 8th to the 10 November 2021 for those who lost their lives during the accident.
The National Society through its remarkable volunteers supported the government with safe and dignified state burial ceremony for 75 departed souls who were unidentified on the 8th November 2021.
Saddened by this catastrophe, the Society with thanks and appreciation notes the diverse support and concerns from the leadership of other National Societies, ICRC, IFRC and the entire Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. With their support, SLRCS continues to meet the needs of victims and helping with the restoration of human dignity.
While admonishing staff and volunteers on behalf of the National Governing Board, the President of the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society, Rev. Sarh Christian Fayia said; “this is a sad moment for our nation, we are touched, we are weeping, we are mourning, yet we remain at the Frontline of the response serving humanity.”
Copyright: SLRCS Communications Unit