Fire Explosion in Freetown, Sierra Leone

*The choice she never had*
COP26: Address by Cedric Dzelu
On Friday 5th November, 2021, Sierra Leone faced yet another disaster in which reports shows that at least 98 people have died. The explosion happened at a junction outside the busy Choithram Supermarket in a densely populated Wellington suburb in the east part of the capital city at around 22:00 GMT.
The explosion was as a result of a fuel tanker colliding with a lorry at the well-known junction. The fuel spilled before igniting and the resulting inferno engulfed bystanders and vehicles at the busy junction. Footage broadcast by local media outlets showed badly charred bodies in the streets surrounding the tanker.
Over 100 people with various degrees of burns are currently being treated in hospitals and health centers in Freetown, some of them are said to be presently overwhelmed.
The Sierra Leone's National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA), an agency responsible to manage disaster in the country said the vehicles collided when the tanker was entering a nearby filling station to discharge its fuel. The drivers, noticing a leak, exited the vehicles and warned people to stay away. The explosion occurred when people tried to collect the fuel, the NDMA said.
The crash has provided a challenge for Freetown's health service already suffering from years of under funding, the 2014-2016 Ebola epidemics and the 2019 Covid-19 Pandemic. The situation at the hospitals, especially Connaught hospital is overwhelming. The government has provided medical supplies to victims in the various hospitals, but there are still inadequate medical consumables and bed capacity. There is still a big need to support with equipment, medical commodities and food."
The disaster has also not only caused loss of lives and left many people injured; most survivors would also have to struggle for economic renaissance. This is because economic properties and other livelihood sources were completely burnt down. The need to help the vulnerable stands closer to our heart than ever before since we have been working with communities on disaster related issues with a current launch of the Disaster Risk Reduction Terminology Book,by Sierra Leone YMCA. The published disaster terminology book is in five of Sierra Leones' local languages.
By Sierra Leone YMCA
Our hearts go out to the family and friends of those who lost their lives in the sad incident.

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