The explosion of a truck carrying gasoline in Haiti on Monday led to the death of over 50 people while injuring dozens more, the Associated Press reported.
“Three days of national mourning will be decreed throughout the territory, in memory of the victims of this tragedy which grieves the entire Haitian nation,” Prime Minister Ariel Henry said in response to the incident.
At least 53 deaths and over 100 injuries have been reported, Patrick Almonor, deputy mayor of Cap-Haitien, where the explosion occurred, told the AP. He said officials believe the truck overturned after seemingly trying to avoid a motorcycle.
“It’s horrible what happened,” Almonor said. “We lost so many lives.”
Almonor told the outlet that hospitals needed more medical professionals to handle the injured, the AP reported. Henry said his administration was sending field hospitals to the scene to tend to the wounded.
Several bodies of victims lay near the explosion site while people in the area used buckets to collect the gasoline to bring back home with them, Dave Larose, a civil engineer who works in Cap-Haitien, told the AP. Severe shortages of fuel and high gas prices have recently forced hospitals to turn away patients and caused schools and businesses to shut down.
Haitian President Jovenel Moise was assassinated in his home in July when a commando stormed the presidential compound, and a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit the nation in August, killing more than 2,200 people and wrecking thousands of homes, the AP reported.
A gang also kidnapped a group of 17 missionaries as they returned from the construction of an orphanage in October. While five have been released, 12 remain hostages, the AP reported.
“It’s terrible what our country has to go through,” Lacrose said.
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