Goto main content

HI mobilises support after lethal explosion in Freetown

Emergency
Sierra Leone

More than one hundred people were killed when a fuel tanker hit a heavy goods lorry and exploded on 5th November in the district of Wellington in Freetown. Humanity & Inclusion (HI) is working to assist the casualties.

HI’s team assesses the needs of victims at the site of the explosion in Freetown, Sierra Leone, 2021.

HI’s team assesses the needs of victims at the site of the explosion in Freetown, Sierra Leone, 2021. | © Alimamy Bangura / HI

Need for rehabilitation care and psychosocial support

Following the explosion of a fuel tanker in the capital of Sierra Leone, HI’s teams have travelled to the area to assess the needs of the casualties. Many of the injured will require medical and rehabilitation care. “It’s important to treat the injured, particularly serious burns victims, by providing them with rehabilitation care,” says Pauline Ducos, director of HI in Sierra Leone. “If casualties are not treated after they leave hospital, they risk losing their functional abilities and may develop a disability.”

HI’s teams also plan to help survivors overcome their ordeal by providing them and their relatives with psychosocial support. “Our current priority is to give casualties psychosocial assistance in order to prevent extensive psychological damage,” explains Mamoud Kargbo, HI’s operations manager in Freetown.

A “national disaster”

Declared a “national disaster” by the Vice President of Sierra Leone, the accident occurred when a fuel tanker collided with a heavy goods lorry carrying granite. Most of the casualties are hawkers and motorcyclists who were attempting to recover fuel from the tanker when it exploded. A total of 101 people died and some two hundred were injured, half of whom will not survive their injuries, according to the latest reports on Monday. All casualties are being treated in the city’s hospitals and clinics, which have been overwhelmed by the sudden influx of patients. Sierra Leone does not have the medical expertise to care for serious burns victims.

HI active in Sierra Leone for 25 years

HI began working in Sierra Leone in 1996, when it opened a rehabilitation centre in Bo, followed by three other centres. Since then, HI has helped raise the standard of rehabilitation care and promotes action on inclusive education, protection and mental health. HI 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 mission in 1996, HI has helped tens of thousands of individuals, including people with disabilities, girls, children and women in need of assistance to alleviate the suffering caused by poor access to services and poverty.

Where your
support
helps

PRESS CONTACT

CANADA

Fatou Thiam

 

Help them
concretely

To go further

All the children are out of school
© HI
Emergency

All the children are out of school

All the schools in Gaza are closed because of the violence, so what is happening to the children who are now out of school?

Global Day of Action on May 2: Stop all arms transfer
© HI
Emergency Explosive weapons

Global Day of Action on May 2: Stop all arms transfer

HI, as part of the Ceasefire Now coalition, is taking part in a day of action calling for a halt to all arms transfers and an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

No safe place in Gaza: Khan Younis is uninhabitable
© HI
Emergency Explosive weapons

No safe place in Gaza: Khan Younis is uninhabitable

As the war in Gaza enters its seventh month, Humanity & Inclusion expresses grave concern for the safety of thousands of families that might be forcibly displaced from Rafah to Khan Younis and other areas across the Strip.