The death toll from a fuel tanker explosion in Haiti on Tuesday has risen to 90, with the deaths of about 10 people seriously injured at the weekend when the disaster struck, the deputy mayor said Monday. Cap Aitien, the city where the accident took place.
“We have a death toll of 90 so far,” Patrick Almonor, deputy mayor of the Caribbean’s second-largest city, told AFP. critical situation.
The previous official report, released last Wednesday, put the death toll at 75, 47 in critical condition and 12 in a slightly milder condition.
On the night of December 13-14, the tanker driver lost control when, according to Patrick Almonor, he tried to avoid a collision with a motorbike. The heavy vehicle overturned.
After the accident, “citizens took advantage to collect fuel, which they put in whatever container they found”, before there was a “terrible explosion”, said Jerry Chandler, director of the Haitian Civil Protection.
The hospitalization of the victims, most of whom were in a very serious condition, was further complicated by the fact that the only health structure specializing in burn treatment was the clinic of the non-governmental organization Doctors Without Borders (Médecins sans Frontières, MSF). is located in Port-au-Prince, the capital, some 200 miles[200 km]south of Cap Etienne.
The NGO sent a team to the city to help local health workers, but the treatment of these patients is “long, it will take at least three to four months,” explained Jean Gilbert Dong, MSF medical coordinator.
One week after the tragedy, the victims will be buried in the Cathedral of Cap Etienne this Tuesday morning.
Only 25 bodies will be in the church, as most of the victims, who were killed instantly, were buried in a mass grave in Cap Aitien, Mr. Almonor noted.
Haiti, an impoverished Caribbean country, has been facing paralyzing fuel shortages for months as gangs of thugs ravage the supply areas.
In recent months, heavily armed gangs have extended their control to areas of Port-au-Prince, including on the roads leading to the three oil-dependent oil installations around the country, on the outskirts of the capital.
In the fall, they hijacked more than a dozen tankers and demanded large sums of money as ransom to free the drivers. This situation is causing increasing discomfort to the population of the country.