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Haiti tanker truck explosion kills 75, injures dozens

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HAITI: A petrol tanker truck exploded and killed at least 75 people in Haiti on Tuesday, after bystanders swarmed the vehicle to collect spilled fuel — a precious commodity in a nation plagued by acute shortages.

The blast in Haiti’s second city of Cap-Haitien is the latest disaster to hit the poverty-wracked Caribbean nation, riven by gang violence and political paralysis.

Prime Minister Ariel Henry visited the scene of the tragedy, saying his heart was “broken” after meeting some of the dozens of injured in a local hospital. He later tweeted that emergency funds had been released to help deal with the tragedy.

The charred remains of the truck sat in the built-up Samarie area of the city on the country’s northern coast. Surrounding buildings were burnt and scarred in the explosion.

Crowds gathered at the site, where some of the dead were left on the road in body bags.

“We have now counted 75 deaths,” Deputy Mayor Patrick Almonor said, adding that authorities were still searching for victims in nearby buildings.

Almonor described a horrific scene, saying he had seen dozens of people “burned alive” and that it was “impossible to identify them.” The truck is believed to have flipped over after the driver lost control while swerving to avoid a motorcycle taxi. Almonor said around 40 houses in the area were also damaged, but that no details were yet available on the possible victims inside. The Justinien University Hospital was overwhelmed with patients wounded in the blast. – INDIA TODAY

Thursday, December 16, 2021 – 01:00

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