At least 50 people were killed when a gas tanker exploded in the Haitian city of Cap-Haitien on Tuesday morning, according to a local official, with overwhelmed local medics saying the toll was feared to rise.
Deputy Mayor Patrick Almonor, who visited the site of the blast, said he had seen more than 50 badly burned bodies, while Prime Minister Ariel Henry had estimated the death toll at around 40 in an earlier tweet.
Almonor said the victims he saw had been “burned alive,” adding: “It is impossible to identify them.”
According to Almonor, the tanker is believed to have flipped over after the driver lost control while swerving to avoid a motorcycle taxi.
Fuel spilled onto the road and pedestrians apparently rushed to collect the tanker s gas, which is in short supply as Haiti grapples with a severe fuel shortage caused by the tightening grip of criminal gangs on the capital Port-au-Prince.
Almonor said around 20 houses in the area were also set ablaze by the explosion, but that no details were yet available on possible victim numbers inside the homes.