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Wednesday, June 12, 2024

30 Feared Dead, 100 Plus Injured in Totota Explosion

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By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor

The Liberia National Red Cross is helping with relief efforts in Totota community after dozens of people were killed in an oil tanker explosion.

Logistics are being provided to local authorities to recover bodies from the wreckage, Samuel Woods, head of Disaster management and WASH program at the Liberia Red office told the Oracle News Daily via phone Wednesday.

Actual fatalities remain unclear as death toil climbs beyond 20.

“We have deployed our Psychosocial Support team in the area and they are holding town hall meetings and talking to residents to give them some mental stability,” Woods said.

“It’s a huge psychosocial disaster. Most of the bodies burnt beyond recognition.

“Some saw their children dying.

Some family members have not seen their children or loved ones and do not know if they are dead or alive.”

Phebe Hospital, a local referral that is approximately 34 miles away from the disaster scene is now overstretched, according to health officials in the region.

The hospital has put out SOS. About 30 persons feared dead with  over 100 injured, according to medical authorities.

“Phebe alone cannot handle such a national emergency,” Cynthia Blapooh, a doctor at the hospital told journalists.

“We still have a lot of critically ill patients, including children and a pregnant woman, a total of 52 people to be transported to JFK in Monrovia.”

On Tuesday afternoon a petroleum tanker collapsed along the highway. Video show some locals rushing on to the fragile carrier to help themselves to abandoned fuel oil. Some people even made their way into the tanker before exploding later.


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