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In northcentral Liberia, a gas tanker explosion has resulted in the death of at least 40 people, according to the country’s Chief Medical Officer, Francis Kateh.
The incident unfolded Tuesday in Totota, Lower Bong Country, roughly 80 miles from the capital city, Monrovia. The explosion took place after the fuel truck crashed, drawing many locals to the site. According to eyewitnesses, the blast occurred while people tried to collect the leaking gas. Some individuals reportedly used tools to puncture the tank.
Kateh, speaking to the media, expressed the difficulty of determining the exact number of casualties, as some bodies were completely burned. He estimated the death toll to be around 40, adding, “We have our team going from home to home to check those that are missing.”
Earlier reports from the police had indicated a death toll of 15, with at least 30 others injured. However, as investigations progressed, the number of fatalities increased. Deputy Inspector-General for the Liberia National Police, Prince B Mulbah, commented on the scale of the incident, noting a high number of burn victims.