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Sierra Leone explosion: Many feared dead after oil tanker collision

Several people are believed to have died and dozens more are injured after a massive explosion in Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown.

The blast, which is not believed to be terror related, happened after a 40ft-long oil tanker collided with another vehicle at a busy junction in the city.

Footage broadcast by local media outlets showed badly charred bodies in the streets surrounding the tanker.

Mayor Yvonne Aki- Sawyerr said the scale of the damage was not yet clear.

The mayor wrote on Facebook that there are “rumours that more than 100 people have lost their lives”, although there is as yet no official death toll.

The explosion is believed to have happened at a junction outside the busy Choithram Supermarket in the Wellington region of the city at around 22.00 local time (23.00 BST) local time.

Brima Bureh Sesay, the head of the Sierre Leone’s National Disaster Management Agency, told local media that the incident had been “a terrible, terrible accident”.

The port city, which is home to just over a million people, has faced several serious disasters in recent years.

In March, more than 80 people were injured after a major fire in one of the city’s slums left more than 5,000 people displaced.

And in 2017 over 1,000 people were killed after heavy rains led to a mudslide that swept through the city, leaving around 3,000 people homeless.


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