Dozens of people have died and many more are wounded following a gasoline truck explosion in northern Haiti in the Cap-Haïtien region, the New York Times reports.
According to local government officials, when the truck had crashed, a crowd of people had attempted to siphon off its gas when it exploded.
Frandy Jean, a Haitian firefighter head, noted that it was the most deadly event that he’s ever experienced.
“It’s the first time since I’ve been a firefighter in over 17 years that I have experienced such a catastrophe,” Jean said. “In terms of bodies that we have counted and put in bags and that the justice of peace has accounted, we are at about 50 for the moment and counting.”
On Twitter, Prime Minister Ariel Henry confirmed that the explosion and fire in the city of Cap-Haïtien were responsible for the deaths and injuries of dozens of Haitian citizens. Also, he noted that medical personnel was dispatched to the scene and he declared several days of mourning.
Le Nouvelliste, the Haitian newspaper, stated that hospitals were overwhelmed with dozens of people seeking treatment after the blast.
Ever since July’s assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, the Caribbean nation has been embroiled in national tragedies, including a 7.2 magnitude earthquake that left over 2,000 dead, and the recent repatriation of thousands of Haitians due to Texas border crisis. As EBONY previously reported, the island nation has experienced an increase in gang violence, kidnappings, and a shortage of fuel.
Claude Joseph, former Prime Minister of Haiti who briefly led the West Indian island’s government after Moïse’s assassination, said that he was devastated upon hearing the news of the deadly explosion.
“It was my gut that was shattered when I learned of the great tragedy in Cap-Haïtien, where the explosion of a gas truck took the lives of more than 40 people in the area of Lafòsèt,” Joseph wrote in Kreyol on Twitter.
“I bowed low to the families of the victims,” he continued. “I share the pain and sorrow of all the people around Cap