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 on Friday.
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.”
Several badly-burned victims lay on the streets of Freetown as fire blazed through shops and houses nearby, social media images showed on Friday, although Reuters was not immediately able to independently verify the clips.
“The video and photo footage making rounds on social media are harrowing,” said Aki-Sawyerr. “There are rumors that more than 100 people have lost their lives.”
The blast after the collision with a truck claimed victims among those who had flocked to collect fuel leaking from the ruptured vehicle, she added in a posting on Facebook.
“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.”
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