On 05 November 2021, a fire incident occurred in the Wellington PMD Junction east of Freetown involving a loaded fuel tanker that collided with a truck carrying granite stones while the fuel tanker was about to enter into a nearby filling station to discharge its fuel. This led to fuel spillage which population rushed to collect. In the interim, some community members rushed to the scene and took advantage of the leakage to scoop fuel and store it in nearby makeshift structures. As the fuel was being scooped, a fire broke out under unidentified reasons, and the tanker exploded, killing nearly a hundred people and injuring more than a hundred.
As of 06 November, it is difficult to be exact on the numbers of people affected, but preliminary reports suggest 101 people have been confirmed dead and 123 seriously injured persons are currently receiving care at various hospitals within the township including Connaught (the national referral hospital), 34 Military, the Emergency and Choithram hospitals. Both public and private properties such as vehicles, gas stations, shops and dwelling houses got burnt. Families of the affected are severely distressed and traumatized.
The Government, through the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS), immediately convened the National Public Health Emergency Management Committee (PHEMC) on 6 November to inform partners of the incident and their initial actions so far. The PHEMC also activated Emergency Operation Center (EOC) Level 2 incidence response. Government informed partners that over 100 burn patients have been transported to various hospitals across Freetown and medical practitioners are being pulled from their locations to support case management in these hospitals. There is also a challenge with the identification of victims by relatives due to the extent of the burns. (IFRC, 07 Nov 2021)