Haiti | At least 62 killed in oil tanker explosion

(Port-au-Prince) At least 62 people were killed in a tanker truck explosion at dawn Tuesday in Haiti, according to a new toll of a tragedy that also injured 48 people, many of them in critical condition.




Robinson Jefffard with Valentine Graf in Washington
France media agency

The tragedy occurred in Cap-Haitien, the second city in this Caribbean country that has been hard hit by security and economic crises as well as natural disasters.

According to Patrick Almonor, the deputy mayor of Cap-Haitien, the tanker’s driver was trying to avoid hitting a taxi, and thus lost control of his car, which overturned.

The residents then rush to the truck, despite the driver’s warnings, to retrieve the fuel that Haiti sorely lacks, before they are largely killed in the explosion.

Al-Munawar said rescue operations, which are still underway, have already counted 62 casualties.

Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry announced on Twitter that he was going there “accompanied by members of his government and a large number of doctors and paramedics.” He also issued a decree of three days of national mourning “in memory of the victims of this tragedy that grieves the entire Haitian nation.”

The deputy mayor said that about 40 houses around the site of the explosion caught fire as a result of the explosion, which raised fears of greater losses.

“We have not yet been able to give details of the number of victims inside the homes,” he said.

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It may take some time to identify the victims as well. “It is impossible to identify them” at present because of their burns, Al-Munawar said.

“not the means”

Health services, overwhelmed, were trying to adapt to the influx of patients who needed urgent care.

“We don’t have the means to care for the many seriously burned patients,” a nurse from Justinian Hospital, where many of the wounded were taken, told AFP. “I’m afraid we won’t be able to save them all.”

d saids Calhil Turenne, who counted 40 seriously injured and two people killed in this hospital.

In the face of the emergency, the Prime Minister announced the deployment of field hospitals “to provide the necessary care to the victims of this terrible explosion.”

Haiti, a poor Caribbean country, suffers from severe fuel shortages due to the gangs’ control of part of the refueling circuit.

In recent months, armed gangs have significantly consolidated their control of Port-au-Prince, taking control of the roads to the country’s three oil terminals.

The gangs kidnapped more than 12 vehicles for transporting fuel and demanded a large ransom in exchange for the drivers’ release.

What arouses strong resentment among the population; Haiti was also the scene on Monday of demonstrations against the increase in gasoline prices.

Since October, communications networks and the media have reduced their activities across the country, because they cannot find fuel for the heat generators that supply the antennas with electricity.

This energy crisis is also hampering the functioning of a few hospital structures across the country.

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