Death toll in Haiti truck blast reaches 75text_fields
Mexico City: At least 75 people were killed when a gas tanker truck exploded in the Haitian city of Cap-Haitien on Tuesday morning, a local official said.
As per reports, the explosion occurred just after midnight on Tuesday in Haiti's second-largest city, on the country's northern coast, where survivors rushed outside and yelled as they observed how the fire consumed part of their neighbourhood.
As per the statements of witness's, the truck flipped over as it was seeking to avoid running over a motorcycle.
"Following this accident, civilians took the chance to collect the gas by filling up makeshift receptacles -- causing a terrible explosion that led to numerous victims and major material damage," civil protection director Jerry Chandler told AFP.
Prime Minister Ariel Henry, himself a doctor, visited a hospital where victims bandaged head to toe were fighting for their lives amid a shortage of medical supplies and health workers.
He later tweeted that emergency funds had been released to help deal with the tragedy.
"It's horrible what happened," said Patrick Almonor, deputy mayor of Cap-Haitien, who said late on Tuesday that 75 people had died.
"Firefighters are making an initial assessment to determine the number of houses burned" as a result of the explosion, Xinhua news agency cited Almonor.
The government announced it will install field hospitals to attend to the injured as area hospitals were overwhelmed with victims.
According to the deputy mayor, the explosion occurred on Tuesday morning after the fuel truck tried to avoid a motorcycle and overturned. Some fuel spilled out of the truck, drawing people around to collect.
Haiti has been grappling with severe fuel shortages and skyrocketing gas prices, which were triggered by the action of armed gangs. UN humanitarians warned on October 25 that the difficulty in delivering fuel in Haiti is likely to cost lives.