Totota Tanker Explosion: President Weah Declares Week of National Mourning

(Monrovia)-Liberia leader President George Manneh Weah has declared a week of national mourning beginning today, Sunday, January 7, 2024 as health authorities cautioned of the increase in the number of casualties in the aftermath of the December 26, 2023 Toyota petrol tanker explosion.
The incident occurred on Mulbah Hill, Totota, Bong County, when a tanker believed to be carrying some nine thousand (9,000) gallons, according to eyewitnesses, fell off the road while trying to dodge a speeding pick-up that was headed from the opposite direction.
The explosion happened when residents of the area began siphoning petrol from the tanker that had fallen off the road.
Residents of the area began siphoning petrol from the tanker while others gathered to watch the scene on-folding.
The tanker exploded several minutes later after falling off the road with no one on the scene noticing any sign of fire when suddenly, the explosion erupted and gutted some people who were on the scene.
Liberia’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Francis Kateh said about 40 people died in the immediate aftermath of the explosion, while dozens more were taken to several hospitals around the country for treatment. The number of fatalities is said to have risen as many of those who sustained severe burns from the explosion have unfortunately succumbed to their wounds.
President Weah last week expressed his deepest sympathy to the affected families and all those impacted by the unfortunate incident and called on the nation to rally around them. He implored health authorities to use every available means at their disposal, including beefing up manpower and equipment to cope with the rising number of injured people.
The President described images from the incident as “deeply disturbing,” as he called on the bereaved families to take solace in the Lord.
All prelates and houses of worship are encouraged to continue to pray for the bereaved families and the injured during this period.
President Weah has also ordered that flags on all public buildings be flown at half-mast during the week of national mourning.

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