Haitian officials say a truck carrying gasoline tipped over in the city of Cap-Haitien shortly after midnight Tuesday, The Washington Post reports.
As Haiti faces gas shortages, “locals crowded around to collect the spilled fuel in containers…[and] the truck exploded.”
At least 62 people were killed in the accident, while dozens more were wounded.
As the Post reported:
Romann Daniel, who lives near the scene of the blast, said the driver of the truck had warned the gathering crowd that the truck could explode at any time and urged them to run away. But given the fuel shortages, few heeded his exhortations.
“A lot of people lost their lives because they wanted to take the gas,” said Daniel, 38. He was searching local hospitals for a missing cousin. “The dead people are unrecognizable. It’s impossible to identify them.”
Latin American & Caribbean Studies Lecturer Danny Shaw shared video of the explosion, noting that gas in Haiti costs $10-$20 USD.
The blaze was reportedly difficult to contain “because of a lack of proper equipment,” the chief of fire operations, Alain Durosiers, said. He added that it took up to five hours for ambulance to arrive.
The explosion follows a string of hardship facing the country and its people, from the assassination of its Prime Minister in July, to an August earthquake, followed by mistreatment at the Mexico/U.S. border in September.
ESSENCE sends its condolences to those who have lost their lives in this tragedy and urges for strength for their family members and the country’s residents.