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Sierra Leone tanker explosion: Humanity & Inclusion supports injured after deadly explosion in the heart of Freetown

Press Release | London, 10th November 2021, 12:00 GMT

On November 5 a tanker exploded following a collision with a truck, killing more than 100 people in the Wellington district of Freetown, Sierra Leone. International charity Humanity & Inclusion is mobilizing its teams in country to support the victims of this devastating blast. 

Rehabilitation and psychosocial support 

Humanity & Inclusion’s teams have travelled to the explosion site to assess the needs of the casualties. Many of the people injured will require immediate medical attention as well as long-term rehabilitation care and psychosocial support. 

“It’s important to treat the injured, particularly serious burns victims, by providing them with rehabilitation care,” says Pauline Ducos, Director of Humanity & Inclusion in Sierra Leone. “If casualties are not treated after they leave hospital, they risk losing their functional abilities and may develop a disability.” 

One of our priorities is to give casualties psychosocial assistance to prevent extensive psychological damage,” says Mamoud Kargbo, Humanity & Inclusion’s Operations Manager in Freetown.  

The Vice President of Sierra Leone has declared the incident a “national disaster”. Most of the casualties are hawkers and motorcyclists who were attempting to recover fuel from the tanker when it exploded. 101 people have died and an estimated 200 are injured, half of whom will not survive their injuries, according to the latest reports. All casualties are being treated in the city’s hospitals and clinics, which have been overwhelmed by the influx of patients. Sierra Leone does not have the medical expertise to care for serious burns victims.  

Humanity & Inclusion in Sierra Leone 

Humanity & Inclusion began working in Sierra Leone in 1996, when it opened a rehabilitation center in Bo, followed by three other centres. Since then, Humanity & Inclusion has helped raise the standard of rehabilitation care in the country and promotes action on inclusive education, social protection and mental health. Humanity & Inclusion also responds to major health emergencies, which have included the Ebola epidemic from 2013 to 2015, the mudslide in 2017, and the current COVID-19 pandemic. 

Since its first activities in 1996, Humanity & Inclusion has helped tens of thousands of people in Sierra Leone, including people with disabilities, girls, children and women in need of assistance to alleviate the suffering caused by poor access to services and poverty. 


Notes 

  • You can read more about Humanity & Inclusion’s work and projects in Sierra Leone here. 

  • Interviews with Humanity & Inclusion’s experts in Sierra Leone are available upon request. 

  • Photo: © Alimamy Bangura/HI. Humanity & Inclusion’s team are stood on the road, assessing the situation and destruction following the explosion in Freetown. 

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UK Press Team


Marlene Manning, Media Officer
Email: media.uk@hi.org
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Tel.: +44 (0)870 774 3737