Ninety-one people were killed in the capital of Sierra Leone on Friday when a fuel tanker exploded following a collision, the central morgue and local authorities said.
The government has not yet confirmed the death toll, but the manager of the central state morgue in Freetown said it had received 91 bodies following the explosion.
Victims included people who had flocked to collect fuel leaking from the ruptured vehicle, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, mayor of the port city, said in a post on Facebook.
“We’ve got so many casualties, burnt corpses,” said Brima Bureh Sesay, head of the National Disaster Management Agency, in a video from the scene shared online. “It’s a terrible, terrible accident.”
Images shared widely online showed several badly burned victims lying on the streets as fire blazed through shops and houses nearby. Reuters was not able immediately to verify the images.
Aki-Sawyerr called the videos and photos “harrowing”.
The mayor said that the extent of the damage was not yet clear, adding that police and her deputy were at the scene to assist disaster management officials.
“My profound sympathies with families who have lost loved ones and those who have been maimed as a result,” President Julius Maada Bio tweeted.
“My Government will do everything to support affected families.”
Reporting by Umaru Fofana in Freetown and Bhargav Acharya in Bengaluru; Writig by Bhargav Acharya and Alessandra Prentice Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Frances Kerry