New Delhi: At least 50 people were killed and dozens injured when a gas tanker exploded in the Haitian city of Cap-Haitien on Tuesday morning, AP reported. Dozens of bodies lay on the street hours after the explosion.
“Three days of national mourning will be decreed throughout the territory, in memory of the victims of this tragedy that the entire Haitian nation is grieving,” Prime Minister Ariel Henry tweeted.
Former Prime Minister Claude Joseph also mourned the victims, tweeting, “I share the pain and sorrow of all the people.”
Patrick Almonor, deputy mayor of Cap-Haitien, told The Associated Press that the explosion killed at least 53 people and more than 100 were injured. Around 20 homes were burnt near the site.
Almonor said the number of deaths would rise as people who died in their homes had not been counted yet. “It’s horrible what happened, he said. We lost so many lives,” he said.
Almonor said it appeared the truck driver lost control as it swerved to avoid a motorcycle and the tanker turned turtle.
A local hospital was overwhelmed with patients as the injured were transported to the facility. “We don’t have the ability to treat the number of seriously burned people,” a nurse told AFP. “I’m afraid we won’t be able to save them all,” she said.
Dave Larose, a civil engineer who works in Cap-Haitien, told AP that he was driving when he saw ambulances and a crowd of people gathered along a road around 1 am.
He said some people were using buckets to scoop up gasoline from the truck and the street amid a severe shortage of fuel and spiraling gas prices in Haiti.